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Free childcare available to parents needing a COVID-19 shot

KinderCare is participating in the nationwide program to break down barriers that keep some parents or caregivers from getting vaccinated.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Leaders in the country are sprinting towards a major vaccination goal, declaring June a National Month of Action to get there. The White House is now rolling out an aggressive plan intended to get more people protected from the virus. They're aiming to have 70% of American adults partially vaccinated by the Fourth of July. Right now, about 63% of adults have at least one shot.

Vaccine providers say while there are people who simply will not get vaccinated, there is also a group who aren’t opposed but struggle to find the time or resources to get it done.

A lot of the new nationwide initiatives are aimed at breaking down some of those barriers.

Getting vaccinated is free, but a lot of parents worry about the extra costs of going to get the shot, including transportation or childcare.

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As vaccination rates slow, it's clear that going to get a COVID-19 shot isn't quick or easy for everyone.

"90% of everyone in the country lives within five miles of a vaccine venue. That’s really important but we've still heard from people about other challenges that they've experienced,” Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, the chair of the White House COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, told WCNC Charlotte.

Transportation, getting paid time off and having reliable childcare are all barriers for some people. The country-wide action plan is now bringing in partners like KinderCare to help.

“We're calling it a dose of care,” Christopher Williams, the district leader in the Charlotte area said. “We're inviting families in to come in and take a free offer of childcare for day of or Saturday care so family members can go out and get vaccinated."

In the Charlotte area, it’s being offered at the W.T. Harris, Idlewild, and Matthews KinderCare locations. Bright Horizons, the Learning Group, and some YMCA locations are also participating.

None of the YMCA locations in the Greater Charlotte area are offering this right now.

“Who do you trust with your kid right? So, we're putting ourselves out there to say listen trust us, let us be a partner with you because we want to get as many Americans as possible to be part of this program," Williams said.

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Kids will have to follow the health and safety protocols KinderCare still has in place. This option meant to make it easier for busy working parents to get the shot, so that kids, and all Americans, don't have to wear masks or worry about spreading COVID-19.

“We all need to take advantage of the scientific discovery. We are fortunate in this country to have three vaccines that are effective and safe,” Dr. Nunez-Smith said.

Williams said the best option for parents looking to take advantage of the KinderCare program is to get vaccinated on a Saturday, as there are more time slots available.