A new national survey of more than 6,000 child care providers conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) found that many of them will not be able to remain open without significant public investment. NAEYC found that 44% of providers are confronting so much uncertainty that they are unable to say how much longer they will be able to stay open.
Child care providers have been struggling to make ends meet due to the fallout from the pandemic.The survey found that one-in-four centers and one-in-three child care homes will have to close in the next three months if enrollment remains at current levels, a figure which rises to 51% for minority-owned businesses. Meanwhile, operating costs have skyrocketed, with 91% of providers having to pay more for cleaning supplies and 60% paying additional costs for staff/personnel.
As a result, providers have had to resort to desperate measures to stay open, with 42% taking on debt for their programs by putting supplies or other items on their own personal credit cards and 39% dipping into their own savings accounts to try to meet families’ childcare needs.
However, this survey draws from the experience of the childcare providers who have been fortunate enough to stay open. Thousands of providers have already gone out of business, making the magnitude of the childcare crisis much greater and complicating our economic recovery. Access to quality, affordable child care is key to working parents and our economic recovery from COVID-19, which is why Congress needs to include dedicated child care relief in the next stimulus package.
The full release is available here.