CHILD CARE IS ESSENTIAL TO AMERICA’S ECONOMIC RECOVERY
• July state-by-state data from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) illustrates the dire circumstances for child care centers and family child care homes in Tennessee. Of those surveyed:
› 41% of child care programs are certain that, without additional public assistance, they will close permanently.
› At the time the survey was open, 20% of child care centers remained closed.
› Of programs that are open, 90% are serving fewer children now than they were prior to the pandemic. Overall, average enrollment is down by 62%.
› 86% of programs are paying more for cleaning supplies; 70% for personal protective equipment; and 57% are paying more for staff and personnel costs.
› Respondents were asked what supports their program received to help it survive: 23 programs said they received the Paycheck Protection Program, including 17 large child care programs and 6 small child care programs; of these, none are family child care homes and three are minority-owned businesses.
› 33% of programs responding to the survey have engaged in furlough, pay cuts, or layoffs.
› 12% of early childhood educators responding to the survey report accessing unemployment benefits.
› Assuming they are operating at 80% of capacity or less, 58% of programs responding to the survey expect to close within six months, if they don’t receive additional public support.
• According to the Center for American Progress, 89,567 licensed child care slots are at risk of disappearing, which represents 44% of licensed child care slots.
• In March, 87 child care providers in Tennessee responded to a NAEYC survey reporting that 24% would not survive closing for more than two weeks without significant public investment and support that would allow them to compensate and retain staff, pay rent, and cover other fixed costs.
• A second survey in April with 26 child care providers responding in Tennessee indicated that 61% of child care programs were completely closed, with another 11% open only for children of essential workers.
› Of providers who are still open, 90% are operating at less than 50% capacity.
› 19% of respondents reported needing to either lay off or furlough employees, or reported being laid off or furloughed themselves. Another 56% anticipated such actions occurring in the next 1-4 weeks.
• Tennessee received $82.4 million in supplemental funds in the CARES Act to serve the children of front-line and essential workers and support providers yet, we know this is not enough to cover the impacts COVID-19 has had on the child care market and ensure providers will be there when the economy beings to open up. To read more about how your state has allocated its supplemental funding, click here.
Williamson Herald: Letter to the Editor: Child care industry must be deemed essential