Scripps National News
Child care facilities are struggling with how they will continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Providing care right now is expensive. We necessarily need sanitizing equipment, supportive PPE equipment. We need to ensure that ratios are high and group size is low, and that the physical space and the distances that are needed as well as the equipment and resources are available,” said Lynette Fraga, Executive Director of Child Care Aware of America.
Child Care Aware of America says it's possible that anywhere from 30 to 50% of facilities nationwide could close permanently, depending on how long the pandemic goes on.
That's with the increasing cost of much needed added health and safety measures. Also, some places are getting less money because they're keeping classrooms smaller now.
“That means those providers that are open those prices may really be affected for parents, so any way you may look at this equation, the price of care is a real concern for parents and the price for providers to provide that care is a real concern,” said Fraga.
The organization says some of the $50 billion the industry is asking Congress for would help families with this cost. It adds that families need to be the ones to raise concerns about access to affordable care.
Child care facilities are planning for what comes next if we see another spike in COVID-19 cases this fall. They're creating emergency preparedness plans, learning from what we've experienced over the last few months.