The election, which many people have touted as one of the most important voting decisions of our lifetime, is just weeks away. It’s also one of the harder years to cast our vote thanks to the pandemic and the need to be careful about how we expose ourselves to the possibility of catching the virus. Parents have an added barrier of voting due to the challenges of finding safe childcare or babysitting for the kids when they go vote in an environment where many child care centers have closed due to COVID. Because of this, Care.com has teamed up with Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) to provide free childcare on election day.
The company announced they want to make voting accessible to all parents across the country. And Care.com wants to help by removing the barrier of needing to choose between caring for their kids and voting. In partnership with ASYMCA, they’ve launched a campaign offering free childcare options at 27 locations across the country on election day. And the company hopes to expand this to more cities across the country before Nov. 3 election day.
Starting Oct. 13, parents who want to take part in the program have to register first. To do this, parents have to visit the program landing page on ASYMCA’s website and reserve a four-hour spot, free-of-charge, at one of the participating locations near them. The locations will be available to the public, with a select few locations reserved for military families.
Locations currently offering free childcare through Care.com are:
- San Diego, CA (1 location)
- Twentynine Palms, CA (1 location: only available to military families)
- Colorado Springs, CO (3 locations)
- Daytona, FL (2 locations)
- Augusta, GA (1 location)
- Savannah, GA (1 location)
- O’Fallon, IL (1 location)
- Jacksonville, NC (1 location)
- Rochester, NY (1 location)
- Watertown, NY (3 locations)
- Oklahoma City, OK (2 locations)
- Nashville, TN (2 locations)
- El Paso, TX (1 location)
- Fort Worth, TX (3 locations)
- San Antonio, TX (2 locations)
- Salt Lake City, UT (2 locations)
According to the program’s details, there are no restrictions in terms of how many kids you can bring to be watched while you vote. However, all kids need to be registered for them to be accepted at a reserved time. All age-ranges are accepted, but this program is a first-come-first-serve situation, and each location will likely have a minimum of 20 kids.
It’s important to note that each location requires the parents and kids to wear a mask to comply with COVID-19 restrictions, and parents will be asked to show identification upon arrival. For a full list of participating locations, visit the program’s landing page.
Now that childcare is taken care of, how will parents vote? According to a new survey published by Care.com, 89 percent of parents polled said that childcare policies are important in deciding who they will vote for in the upcoming election, and nearly half of the parents said that they are experiencing higher childcare costs since the pandemic began. Luckily, they have a free option on November 3, even if it’s just for one day.