LANSING, Mich. — Millions of people who are working right now or hoping to return to work soon, rely or will need childcare but the industry is ringing the alarm, warning most childcare providers are on the brink of closing permanently. Alicia Nieves shows us what effect the closures could have on our economy and what the industry says it needs to prevent them.
Thousands of daycares, across the country are struggling to stay open. “The fixed cost in these small businesses is so high, that you are already running at very close margins that, and then with covid that pushed everything over the edge.”
Serah Kaiel has owned and run a small day care in New York for nine years. In March her enrollment dropped by almost 80%, while her cost to stay open went up substantially. “It is like $500 to $1000 per child extra per year. like for the ppe, for the cleaning products, for all the things that go into keep it as safe and the best practices.” After operating in the red for six months, most providers are now coming to terms with the reality that staying open may not be a possibility much longer.
“I represent woman of color, I represent single mothers, and we are working on the frontlines in this pandemic and we have the most to lose with the least amount of resources available to us. " “There are moments when it is really scary.”
A recent survey done by the National Association for the Education of Young Children shows without some government aid, roughly 50% of childcare providers could close permanently and such a substantial loss of child care could force more people out of the workforce, disproportionately, low-income workers and woman.
“It has this massive impact on the economics of communities, it has this massive impact on the economics of society. on woman having the same opportunities that men do. it has a ripple effect that is really dramatic." Rhien Allvin is with the National Association for the Education of Young Children which, after this survey is calling on congress to allocate $50 billion for the industry in the next stimulus.
“We have really strong democrat support, we have really strong republican support. so right now the hold up in congress I don’t think is childcare.
But young children and our field will suffer if they don’t get a stimulus package pass between now and the election.
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