Child care providers across the country, many of whom were already struggling to stay open before this crisis, are facing even greater challenges as enrollment declines exponentially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while essential workers, including medical professionals and first responders, are finding that the child care supply is limited and under-resourced – verging on total collapse. Even the providers trying to remain open to care for the children of essential workers are struggling to keep their doors open. If this industry collapses, our economic recovery will be more difficult and may never recover. America’s child care providers need more relief if they want to survive this crisis.
The situation varies from state to state, and even from community to community. Here’s a look at recent news and updates on the nation’s child care crisis.
- The Hunt Institute has tracked the state of child care in every state during this crisis. According to the report, 17 states have shut down child care facilities, while 33 states and the District of Columbia have given guidance to allow child care facilities to continue operating with additional restrictions on attendance.
- According to updated survey data from NAEYC, nearly 50% of the nation’s child care providers say they would not survive a closure of more than two weeks without significant public investment and support that would allow them to compensate and retain staff, pay rent or mortgages, and cover other fixed costs.
- 550 Delaware child care providers are approved to operate by serving only the children of essential employees and the men and women on the frontlines of this pandemic. But many are struggling to keep their doors open with such reduced enrollment, per Delaware Public Radio.
- According to the Tallahassee Democrat, 40 of about 200 early learning centers in Florida have closed since the beginning of the pandemic. The Florida Department of Education’s Office of Early Learning is making sure child care centers that receive public funding still get it throughout the pandemic, regardless of temporary closures or lack of attendance – much like public schools.
- In New Jersey, in-home child care providers, the only child care allowed to operate in the state, are on the frontline of the pandemic. Many are making the tough decision between staying open to continue earning income and caring for the children of essential workers or shutting down to protect themselves from exposure to COVID-19.
- States Scramble to Arrange Child Care for Essential Workers, AP: State and local governments are working to help the men and women fighting the coronavirus and protecting our communities who no longer have child care and day care centers for their children.
- What we’re reading from the Hechinger Report: Her daycare center was already on the brink — then coronavirus struck – Prior to the pandemic, Shemonica Flemings’ Texas daycare center struggled to stay open, and now, like many others that rely on federal and state funding tied to attendance, she is in danger of closing indefinitely as enrollment has plummeted.
Resources and relief are available for child care providers and workers through the CARES Act:
The CARES Act strengthens and expands unemployment benefits for child care workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Find out more information
Child care providers can apply for SBA loans using the Paycheck Protection Program to keep employees on the payroll and stay afloat during the crisis.