New York Times
These stories, from four different parts of the United States, aren’t isolated pockets of struggle. They are emblematic of a larger problem that has been widely acknowledged by people from the Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell to Amy Schumer: America’s child-care industry is in crisis.
Initially, as parents pulled their children out of child-care centers in the first months of the pandemic, revenue plummeted. Then, as child-care centers opened back up, the burden of safety for the community’s children — including, in many cases, schoolchildren whose parents couldn’t help them with remote learning — fell on providers that were already struggling to survive on thin budgets.
By summer, 50 percent of providers were still closed, according to a research and advocacy group, Child Care Aware of America. That number fell to 13 percent by December but those that have opened are debt-ridden, pinching pennies here and there, and short-staffed to keep costs down.