“Covid-19 really has devastated the childcare system,” says Mindy Bennett, Deputy Chief of Partnership of the national child care advocacy organization Child Care Aware of America. “I’ve had community leaders tell me that they suspect that about 50 percent of their childcare have closed and will not reopen,” Bennett says.
Home-based child care, also known as family child care, ranges from informal baby-sitting (ie: Aunt Kathy down the block watches the kids) to larger groups of children and professional training. Because they’re operated from homes, these services have less space than child care centers. Usually, that means groups of five to 10 children of varying ages, with siblings kept together despite age gaps.
“Family childcare is a more home-like environment,” Bennett, a former home-based care center operator, says. “It may represent your home beliefs and culture more than a center.”