As an increasing number of cities and states move toward reopening, the child care industry is still reeling from the impact of coronavirus. Without child care, there will be barriers for parents who want to return to or find work. That’s the urgent message Child Care Aware is sharing with its new campaign: No Child Care, No Recovery (#NoChildCareNoRecovery).
The goal of this new video series is to highlight the struggles that families and child care providers are facing during this time, and how vital a strong, stable child care industry will be to an effective economic recovery. While the Senate considers the best path forward for additional COVID-19 relief, make sure they know, #NoChildCareNoRecovery. Please email and tweet at your Senator now to share these stories!
Visit the #NoChildCareNoRecovery Story Hub (located at: https://www.childcareaware.org/coronavirus/child-care-and-covid-19-stories-from-the-field/)
Here is an excerpt from one story.
Dana and Scott Barnhart are the owners of Kiddie Academy of Kent Island in Stevensville, Maryland. They have proudly owned and operated their center for 5 years. Dana, along with her staff, has worked tirelessly to achieve a rating of 5 in the state Quality Rating Improvement System: Maryland EXCELS. Unfortunately, in mid- April the center had a COVID-19 exposure and they had to shut down for a minimum of two weeks. They had planned to reopen on May 4th but after learning only 20 children were going to return, they decided not to move forward at that time. At this level of enrollment, their projected loss would average about $30,000 a month. They had reached a point of having to consider closing forever.
There are other obstacles that make it difficult for the Barnhart’s as well as other providers and families in Maryland to navigate the crisis that the Covid-19 pandemic has created for child care:
– In order to meet social distancing guidelines throughout the day, child care providers have to lower their operational capacity to keep children further apart. As a result of this, more qualified staff must be present in the center to ensure that the minimal licensing standard of keeping all children within sight and sound at all times is maintained. Reducing the operational capacity decreases a center’s weekly revenue while having to provide additional staff increases operational costs.
– Middle class working parents spend on average 10-14% of their income for child care. Therefore, they cannot bear the burden of an increase to the cost of care. We know from experience that when child care cost increases, families are often forced to choose cheaper unsafe options which do not include a high-quality early education program like the one offered at Kiddy Academy of Kent Island.
– Operational cost has also increased to allow for additional cleaning and sanitizing throughout the day. While high-quality child care providers have always been extremely mindful and attentive to preventing the spread of illness, the COVID-19 pandemic has required staff to triple their daily cleaning routines which, of course, has increased their expenses. Locating cleaning and sanitation supplies has been exceedingly difficult.
We encourage you to read through other stories to truly grasp why we need our Senators to come through and fund child care- it’s essential!