The Educated Reporter (Education Writers Association blog)
“COVID really just highlighted the pre-existing situations and challenges of the early childhood system across the nation,” said Dionne Dobbins, the senior director of research at Child Care Aware of America, a research and advocacy group. “When COVID hit, it was layering it on top of a very fragile child care system — and, you know, some would say it even shattered.”
Dobbins was among the experts assembled for the kickoff panel of a recent Education Writers Association event on covering the education and care of children from birth to age 3.
A lack of adequate federal investment in child care is the driver behind the affordability issues faced by parents, Dobbins argued.
“The price of child care in many states is more expensive than tuition at a state college for one year,” she said.
Dobbins said data gathered by Child Care Aware indicates that a majority of states were already seeing declines in family child care, as well as the number of child care centers, in 2018 and 2019.