TULSA, Okla. — The Tulsa Public School district will be virtual when the semester starts on Aug. 31 and for many Tulsa parents who need to go to work, childcare has become a major concern. Now, there is a new website offering a way for parents to find help with child care in the works.
Andrea Murphy is one of many parents who has to make big adjustments for the virtual start to the new year.
“It’s going to be very different and very painful," Murphy said. “My husband and I are both business owners, we need someplace for her to go. I do not have the means to quit my job and stay home."
Like many other Tulsa metro parents, Andrea has been using social media platforms like Facebook to figure out the next steps for child care.
"I've reached out to daycares and nannies, and some teachers I know," Andrea said.
To make the search for help easier for parents, the Tulsa Area United Way and The Opportunity Project are collaborating to put together a website.
“We are really hoping that serves as a repository for community partners to indicate that they do have options for childcare whether that’s a faith-based organization or one of our other youth services organizations that plan on being open during distance learning," said Caroline Shaw, the executive director of The Opportunity Project.
The website will have a project manager to facilitate the use of the website and serve as a liaison between community organizations and families who need them.
The George Kaiser Family Foundation and the Ed Darby Foundation have pulled funds together to make the website and it's facilitation possible.
Shaw says it should be ready to launch as soon as next week because the base of the website already exists.
"We really took a lot of the learning from the 2018 teacher was out where there was a similar situation where families really needed care in a short period of time so the United Way actually developed this tool during the walk out," Shaw said. "Now, this is an even more necessary situation for families."
When it is available it’s designed to be accessible for all families.
"It will be accessible via 211. So, if families have a lack of internet access they will have another method for them to search," Shaw said.
Shaw says for it to really work, organizations offering services have to enter their information.
"We are really excited for it to be available and we really want to encourage that provider community to go on and indicate what they are able to do and ways they are able to support," Shaw said.
A welcomed resource to parents like Murphy and her group of friends.
"That is exactly what we’ve been needing in the community," Murphy said. “I think we are going to have to work together to figure out what we are going to do."
Shaw recommends checking both sights for the live link and regularly checking the website as they hope to consistently add new resources as they become available.
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