How Child Care Facilities Have Been Impacted by Covid-19
Written by Kerry Regan—Early Childhood Special Education Teacher (Adjunct Professor for Blackstone Career Institute’s Child Care Provider Course)
Growth In Child Care Provider Facilities
Child care is a growing industry in the United States and the COVID-19 pandemic is opening up more and more people’s eyes to the necessity of it. According to an analysis of government data by USA Facts, over 7 million children ages 3-5 attended an early childhood education program in 2017. Over the last fifty years, there was a jump from 37% in 1970 to 64% in 2017. This jump is most likely due to an increase of working parents, particularly mothers. According to Time, 76% of mothers and 96% of fathers with children under age 6 work full time. Without proper child care, parents will be unable to return to work and the economy will not be able to stabilize.
Working from home has been a temporary solution for some parents, however, many of these parents are now questioning how sustainable this arrangement is. A recent study showed that parents are losing an average of 8 hours of work per week in order to address their children’s needs.
The cost of running a licensed child care center has increased 47% during the pandemic, with home-based centers seeing an increase of 70%. This is due to multiple factors such as lower enrollment, guidelines in place for smaller class sizes, personal protective equipment, and sanitation supplies. Due to closures and increasing costs, approximately 258,000 child care workers have lost their jobs amid the pandemic. Additionally, a study by the National Association for the Education of Young Children estimates that 40% of child care facilities will permanently close without federal assistance. If this is the case, the centers remaining will be able to charge more for tuition, which will price low- and possibly even middle-income families out of the market entirely.
Child Care Facilities and Government Funding
Congress allotted $3.5 billion of coronavirus relief to aid child care programs; however, The National Women’s Law Center estimates that it would cost at least $9.6 billion a month to keep current child care providers in business. Representative Rosa DeLauro created a measure of $50 billion to help stabilize the child care sector. These funds, called the Child Care Is Essential Act and Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, would provide grants used to pay for staff, sanitation, personal protective equipment, and health and safety trainings. This bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in July, but was not picked up by the Senate.
According to a Northeastern University survey completed in May – June 2020, 13% of U.S. parents have had to quit their jobs or reduce hours due to lack of child care. A Census Bureau survey from July indicated that approximately 31% of women ages 25 – 44 with children have left the workforce due to lack of child care, as well as 11.6% of men.
This bill would ensure the survival of the child care industry throughout this pandemic. If we do not address this child care crisis, rebuilding our economy will be nearly impossible. Child care facilities are essential to parents returning to work, as well as our nation’s economic recovery.
Blackstone Career Institute’s Child Care Provider Course
Want to learn more about becoming a child care provider and how to play a vital role in educating young children while providing necessary assistance to worker families and parents?
Check out Blackstone Career Institute’s child care provider program where you will learn the fundamentals of early childhood education, the child care profession, and developmentally appropriate practices for dealing with children from birth through school age. This online program also provides instruction on office technology, English usage and written communication, time and stress management, management theory, critical thinking skills, and interpersonal communications.