The coronavirus outbreak caused a major drop in the economy around the world. Many families and organizations suffered financially due to the pandemic. Meanwhile, the child care providers in California are also unable to afford their finances in these challenging times.
A recent survey by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment highlights the problems of these child care providers. Their income dropped during the pandemic but the expenses are still increasing. Also, many providers are falling into debt while they are at risk of infection.
The survey included 953 programs of child care in California. They included private centers in the survey and the home run child care programs as well.
Sean Doocy is a research associate at the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. He is also an author of this recent report. Doocy talked about the programs run from the home of the providers. He said that these providers are covering the expenses by paying from their pockets.
Most of the people running these programs in California mainly include women. Also, most women financing these programs are from an ethnic background.
Sophia Lopez is the owner of a child care program in California. She also had to close the facility twice despite the lack of income. Sophia was running the program from her home before the pandemic hit. She closed her child care program for the first time earlier in May. It was the peak of pandemic and the family of a child tested positive for coronavirus.
Lopez closed the program and self-quarantined for about two weeks. Fortunately, there was no other case of Covid-19 after that. However, Sophia suffered a major loss in her income. Later in July, another mother got diagnosed with the virus. The mother did not quarantine her child and both of them got the virus.
Later Lopez and her family tested positive for the coronavirus. She stopped her services after she experienced the first symptoms of the infection. Lopez mentioned that no other child got diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Sophia said that she would keep her program closed if she was able to afford it. Even though she wants to protect her family and the kids, it is financially impossible for her. Her child care program is her only source of income. Hence, Lopez and her family will suffer a lot if the program closes.
The researchers said that many child care programs operating from home closed due to the risk of coronavirus infection. However, some facilities stayed open as they were not able to survive financially. Currently, there is one-third of child care providers still operating in California. These providers fear for their families and the children they cater to.
The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment is currently trying to source funding from the federal government and the state. This funding will help these providers to keep their child care programs running in this situation.
They will also have the opportunity to implement safer practices at their home centers and private facilities. The funding will also help the older child care providers. They will be able to stay closed until it is safe for them to reopen.