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The Challenge of Keeping a Bronx Day Care Open During the Pandemic

aria Capellan’s day care, which is situated inside her apartment on the fourth floor of a nondescript high-rise in the Bronx, is marked by paper decorations that change with the season—apples and school buses for the start of the school year, a wrapped present for Christmas, hearts for Valentine’s Day. During a recent visit, Capellan put on classical music while her children napped in cribs and on cots laid out on the padded floor of the main bedroom. Wooden letters of the alphabet were framed on a wall; pool-noodle horses and other toys were corralled in a corner. In the hallway, shelved folders keep track of each child—their curriculum, their needs, their progress. In the course of her work, Capellan helps families with potty training and temper tantrums. She gets up early when parents have to work early; when they work late, so does Capellan. She has been doing this for nearly two decades. She has no savings and sleeps in her living room.

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