Where will we get childcare?

Emily Peck, a staff writer for the Huffington Post, just did a story examining what will happen to day care centers and childcare facilities as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. Although childcare centers may be more essential than ever when we’re all allowed to go back to work, many are not getting any funds or finances during the current shutdown. Therefore, it seems evident that many will just not survive.

While interviewing the owners of daycare centers, Peck also looked at data from the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Center for American Progress. Both organizations have collected information about childcare facilities and programs. These organizations predict that about half of all available slots in licensed child care centers and homes are at risk of disappearing because of the pandemic.

Like most small businesses right now, child care centers around the country are struggling to stay alive, and because of the health crisis more than 60% of licensed child care providers have shut down says the Bipartisan Policy Center. Many have laid off their workers and most of those who still have employees on their payroll will be forced to let them go soon.

This furloughing of workers in the day care business is primarily hurting women, who make up 94% of child care service providers and, throughout our economy, have been disproportionately affected by the economic shutdown. An additional aspect of the current atmosphere is that most of the women working in child care centers are making minimum wage.

Although some child care centers are still open, in many instances still open to take in the children of essential workers, these centers are also struggling. Peck points out that these still-open centers are seeing fewer kids coming in and at the same time are trying to cope with guidelines on how to keep both children and staff safe from the virus.

Peck reports that in order to survive, child care centers would need $9.6 billion per month to make it through the pandemic. This, she writes, is according to an analysis that the Center for Law and Social Policy recently released. However, there appears to be no resource for that kind of money. Congress, says Peck, has not taken the importance of child care into account in its relief efforts. “Child care centers have been largely an afterthought to policymakers crafting bailouts for critical industries in the travel and hospitality sectors,” Peck states.

What does the future hold for child care in this country?

It seems all too obvious that without safe and secure day care options, many parents, particularly women, won’t be able to go back to work. Peck suggests that school closures at all levels – from preschool through high school -- are already causing many women to consider quitting their jobs.

“If we don’t deal with this now, the repercussions and ripple effects of this crisis, especially for women and women of color, will be felt for years in our economy,” said Katherine Gallagher Robbins, director of child care and early education at the Center for Law and Social Policy, a nonprofit that advocates for policies that alleviate poverty.

When people are allowed to go back to work, many businesses and their employees will struggle because there will not be daycare centers for their children, Over all, the lack of child care nationwide during the crisis has drawn attention to just how essential it is. If a majority of day cares fail to survive, it will wreak havoc on businesses, families, and the general health of the U.S. economy.

To read the full story, go to:
After Coronavirus, Nearly Half Of The Day Care Centers In The U.S. Could Be Gone

Written by James Windell, MA

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