Daycares and The Pandemic


Jennifer Hammond owns and operates a daycare center in Hawai’i that has faced numerous challenges this past year due to COVID-19 concerns and restrictions. Photo by George Hammond.

George Hammond

Jennifer Hammond has always wanted to be a childcare provider, ever since she was a teenager. After graduating from college and working as a waiter, these feelings didn’t fade. 

“I just always loved working with children,” Jennifer said. 

She started her own daycare when she was in her 40’s and her business has done well for many years. Now, with COVID-19 in the picture, many are concerned about the future of her business and worry about how daycares like hers will operate in the future. 

“It really has thrown a wrench into my business plans,” she said. “We have a 95-year-old living with us… we just can’t afford to risk such an illness coming into our home.”

But Jennifer Hammond isn’t giving up just yet. 

“It has made things much harder but not impossible,” she stated. “I need to wear two masks now, and try to keep the babies as far away from my face as I can.”

Jennifer’s husband George Hammond has his own worries as well. 

“I’m just concerned for her safety,” he explained. “I know that we have to be safe for grandpa’s sake, but we’re old, too. We are all at risk from this virus.”  

Jennifer’s youngest son Jacob shared similar feelings. 

“I just want my family to be safe and healthy,” Jacob stated.

Despite everything that is happening, according to Jennifer Hammond, the clients “keep calling in.” She tries to limit how many children attend her daycare to three or fewer, but she has been receiving an influx of people looking for help. 

“It ‘s really surprising to me,” Jennifer said. “You would think during a pandemic like this, parents would rather have their kids at home than at a stranger’s house. I’m not sure what has caused the rise in people inquiring, but it’s a bit shocking.”

Thankfully, Jennifer and many other childcare providers have been able to find their footing and continue to thrive during the pandemic. Even with the new risks involved, it seems that Keikilani Daycare and other home daycares won’t be ceasing operations anytime soon.