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.
The situation varies from state to state, and even from community to community.
Here’s a look at recent news coverage and analysis of the nation’s child care crisis.
- A Yale University study shows almost 3.5 million children of people who work in the American health care industry need some kind of child care while their parents are at work. The report also shows there are about 1.3 million employed child care providers, not including teachers and other education specialists, NPR.
- The Wall Street Journal spoke with child care providers across the country to better understand the impact this crisis is having on them. According to the story, attendance is down 90% and they are laying off employees, while working to provide the same quality of care for children. Many fear that they will not last through the end of the self-quarantine.
- A statewide survey of child care providers in Louisiana found that a staggering 35% of Louisiana child care centers will not reopen after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Nearly 80% of providers have experienced a loss in revenue totalling almost $1.7 million. According to the Louisiana Department of Education, the percentage of child care providers who closed their facilities rose to 60% by the end of the March.
- According to WUNC, North Carolina is anticipating that the COVID-19 crisis will cause up to one-third of child care facilities to close for good if they don’t receive immediate financial relief. Smart Start leaders estimate nearly half of the state’s child care facilities have already closed at least temporarily. At the same time, however, facilities that are still open are being overwhelmed by the demand for child care during the coronavirus pandemic.
- In an effort to protect the child care industry in Vermont, the Department for Children and Families announced a plan to fund 50% of tuition costs for child care spaces that families are unable to use due to closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- About 550 of the New Jersey’s more than 4,000 licensed centers received approval from the state to continue operating, serving the health care workers, grocery store employees, public safety and emergency personnel and others deemed essential during the COVID-19 pandemic,, per Press of Atlantic City.
- As many Americans struggle with the challenges of being new parents during the COVID-19 pandemic, home visiting programs are filling a vital role in mitigating the impacts of this crisis on families. The Center for American Progress explains the need for additional resources and flexibility in the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.
Resources and relief are available for child care providers and workers through the CARES Act:
- FFYF has a new resource outlining specific CARES Act provisions that support small businesses, in addition to our previous overview of the Paycheck Protection Act. This new guide covers the expansion of eligibility requirements for SBA loans, increases in the maximum SBA Express Loans, and funding for entrepreneurial assistance.
- 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.