Child-care centers struggle to reopen, while others may raise prices to survive

By CCAoA on September 25, 2020

MarketWatch

The U.S. child-care system is buckling under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic, new data suggests — and economists warn that a lack of feasible options during the economic downturn could leave some working mothers’ careers in the lurch.

After COVID-19 forced the closure of many child-care providers across the country, most states allowed for their reopening, according to a report published Thursday by the nonprofit Child Care Aware of America, which advocates for access to affordable child care. But 35% of child-care centers and 21% of family child-care programs in the country remained closed as of July. 

“Time will tell if these closures become permanent. If they do, this will pose a serious problem as our nation works to rebuild the economy,” the report authors wrote. “For our economy to regain strength, we must have a steady, reliable workforce who aren’t distracted by child-care worries.”

The organization also suggested that child care could become more costly due to factors such as reduced capacity necessitated by physical distancing, supplies including personal protective equipment, training on new safety measures and communication of protocols to employees and parents.

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Without federal support, experts say child care is likely to get more expensive for parents

By CCAoA on September 24, 2020

CNBC.com

Despite states allowing child-care providers to reopen their doors as the spring and summer stay-at-home orders lifted, attendance is still down and many centers have yet to get back into business. 

About 35% of child-care centers and 21% of family child-care programs remain closed nationwide as of July, according to the latest data available from Child Care Aware of America released Thursday. Of the providers that are open, attendance and enrollment is significantly lower than it was at the start of the year.

That’s due, in part, to state and local health guidelines limiting the number of children allowed in a classroom or facility in order to maintain social distancing. Child Care Aware found that 17 of the 32 states that reported attendance data say they’ve lost more than 25% of their capacity.

“Child care was already in a bad place prior to prior to the pandemic,” says Lynette Fraga, CEO of Child Care Aware. “This exacerbated price and cost and supply of quality child care.” 

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Report Finds Drop In Iowa's Licensed Child Care Centers During COVID-19

By CCAoA on September 24, 2020

Iowa Public Radio

A new report has found about half the state’s licensed child care centers have closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report by the non-profit Child Care Aware of America found the state’s licensed child care centers dropped from nearly 1,590 in January to just over 802 in July.

However, the report found the state’s in-home providers fared much better. They reported 2,542 providers in January and 2,546 providers in July - a slight increase.

Kristina Haynie, a senior data analyst with the non-profit, said licensed centers may be struggling because they have more children and staff to manage.

Dionne Dobbins, the senior director of research at Child Care Aware of America, said parents may be more comfortable during the pandemic putting their children in a space with fewer people and in-home providers have more flexibility serving different aged children.

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New Report Provides National and State-by-State Look at Child Care  During COVID-19 Pandemic

By David Carrier on September 24, 2020

Report finds that 35% of centers and 21% of family child care programs remain closed nationwide

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today released a new report and interactive website on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on child care access, affordability and quality.  

The report, titled Picking Up the Pieces: Building a Better Child Care System Post COVID-19, combines CCAoA’s annual High Price of Child Care report and State Fact Sheets for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., into one report along with additional data gathered from Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and other sources as recently as July 2020. 

The report features information about CCAoA’s new Child Care Data Center that includes additional child care data and stories for six pilot states: Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. 

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Advancing an Equitable and Anti-Racist Child Care System

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on September 23, 2020

Exchange Magazine

As a Mexican-American born in Arizona, I encountered racists and was subjected to racism. As a mother, I worry about my college-age son as he navigates his way in the world, including interactions with the police. As I watched George Floyd suffocate and die under the knee of a white police officer, I felt its painful pressure in my own life, and the lives of my children, parents and grandparents.

In many ways, I am the manifestation of the dreams of my grandparents—a college graduate, earning a doctorate and living her passion in her professional career. Like so many of my brothers and sisters of color, I am both deeply grateful for my family’s sacrifices and the life I have, as well as painfully aware of the subtle—and not at all subtle—ways that my skin color informs people’s interactions with me, my family and countless others.

I share this to make explicit that if we are to confront the reality of racism, implicit bias and their painful outcomes, we need to talk about them in a very personal way.

CCAoA believes that equitable early childhood education must lift up all children and support their growth and development, while providing educational advancement in partnership with families. To do so, we must acknowledge the history of our country and the disparate impact that racism, past and present, has had on generations of Black and Brown Americans. We must acknowledge the pernicious effects of historical trauma and structural racism that have resulted in cumulative adverse economic and social impacts on people of color. And we must work to ensure that our early childhood and child care systems do not perpetuate—indeed, must actively work to reverse—the racism, poverty and lack of opportunity that exists in the United States.

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COVID-19 Has Nearly Destroyed the Childcare Industry—and It Might Be Too Late to Save It

By CCAoA on September 08, 2020

TIME

If there are mass closures across the childcare industry to the extent that experts predict, the failure of the government to act will have broader ramifications. Daycare providers who find themselves unemployed may never return to their profession. Daycare owners may abandon their businesses for more lucrative ones. Families may opt to keep a parent home to watch the kids. “Absent our collective investment in childcare, there really won’t be an effective community recovery,” warns Lynette Fraga, the CEO of ChildcareAware. “If we aren’t supporting childcare providers, there won’t be childcare to go back to.”

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Pandemic underscores the importance, inequities of child-care system

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on August 23, 2020

Seattle Times


Op-ed by Jackie Bezos, president and co-founder of the Bezos Family Foundation, and Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware of America.

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Coronavirus calculation: No child care, no economic recovery

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on July 14, 2020

FOX Business

The coronavirus pandemic has hit every part of our economy. But while we hear so often about prominent businesses or industries affected by this, what does not get talked about is how it has devastated an industry that has served as a glue keeping the other parts of our economy together -- child care.

The child care industry is on the ropes and we must move quickly to save it.

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Advocating for Child Care During and After a Pandemic

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on July 10, 2020

Exchange magazine

The coronavirus pandemic shows just how essential child care is.

Since March, many working parents across the country have scrambled to find alternative child care arrangements as schools and some child care providers closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. Those parents who were able to “work from home” struggled to balance work and being present for their young children, and less than 30 percent of workers can even work from home, according to the Economic Policy Institute. And while health care providers and other essential personnel put their lives on the line caring for others, who was taking care of their children?

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In-Home Child Care Could Be the Solution to Covid-19 Parent Woes

By CCAoA on July 01, 2020

Fatherly.com

“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.” 

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