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A Single Father Details Years-Long Search for Adequate After-School Care

While the struggle to find childcare is nearly universal, it affects each family on a deeply personal level. In this article from Voice of San Diego, Jacob McWhinney recounts the story of Jared Gossens, a single father who struggled for years to secure after-school care for his son. His story involves job loss, inability to secure employment, and fear that his inability to pay the rent would lead to homelessness. As Gossens says, “It shouldn’t be this hard for a working parent barely scraping by to find care.”

Take a look:

How a Lack of After-School Care Defined a Single Father’s Life

Not having after-school care for his son cost Jared Goossens a job.

As a single parent of a San Diego Unified student, Goossens needed after-school care. His son’s school schedule had already cost him one job, and it was keeping him from taking another. And he was barely scraping by. So, he searched – starting with San Diego Unified’s PrimeTime program, an umbrella term used to describe the free before and after-school care the district offers at its K-8 schools.

For a year he existed in a limbo of waitlists, email threads and office visits to his son’s school. He needed a full-time job to pay for rent and provide for his son, and he needed after-school care to get a full-time job, but nothing was panning out.

The looming reality of his predicament made him anxious and depressed. It wasn’t until he spoke to a San Diego Unified board member that he finally got a spot in the district’s after-school program. But that board member said Goossens’ receiving a spot wasn’t because of any special action on her part, but a result of the district’s pre-existing effort to expand access to after-school care.

Image via Voice of San Diego


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