In a recent report released by the state government, 88.9% of respondents expressed concern for their child or children’s social and emotional development.
That’s part of the reason a group of parents have come together to prevent Kelly’s Unique Kids daycare in Medford from becoming another casualty of the pandemic.
“The kid doesn't stop singing. Every day it's a new song," mother Lori Mahoney said.
Mahoney said her son, Carter, wasn’t this happy when he was stuck at home for months after the pandemic caused the daycare to shut down earlier this year. He improved almost immediately upon returning in the summer.
“Extreme anger. He was inconsolable a lot," Mahoney said. “He needed stimulation badly and it just makes me cry thinking about how much better he was doing when he was back at Kelly's.”
Not all of Carter’s friends came back to daycare. Some parents worried about the coronavirus.
“We were supposed to open in July and we had so many families that decided that they didn't want to send their children," owner Kelly Kacinski said.
Experiencing a substantial loss in profits, Kacinski wiped out her savings to keep Kelly’s Unique Kids open, but the Medford daycare closed within weeks.
“I have nothing left. I had no more personal money," Kacinski said. “I was heartbroken. I knew the families really needed us that were coming. I knew my teachers needed to be back to work.”
Things got worse when she tried reopening in September. By October she had to close again.
“What the families did was absolutely amazing," Kacinski said.
The families of the children got creative - setting up a Go Fund Me page to offer financial support for the daycare until Kacinski can get more government assistance. There were over $5,000 in donations Tuesday morning with a goal of reaching $25,000.
"It was paying certain months in advance," Mahoney said. “She needed help right away and we wanted to help her. So we also set up a Go Fund Me.”
"She needs to stay open. Daycare is the foundation of our society for working parents.”
Kacinski has applied for local and state grants but she hasn’t gotten word about whether or not she will receive the needed funding