The Lily/Washington Post
Bell’s story underscores the structural problems that fail to support struggling parents — especially women of color — in a society too quick to render someone’s fate to the incarceration system, experts say.
Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware of America, said high-quality child care just isn’t an option for many families. “Even before the pandemic and the associated closures of child-care programs, the supply of child care was decreasing,” he said. “When covid-19 was layered onto the already fragile child-care system, it shattered.”
Before the pandemic, more than half of states reported a decline in the number of child-care centers and 79 percent of states reported a dip in family child-care providers between 2018 and 2019, according to data from Child Care Aware of America.
Cardona and his colleagues estimate that it will take a year or more to understand the impact of the pandemic on child-care services. As of July, the group found that 35 percent of centers and 21 percent of family child-care programs remain closed across the country.
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