Child care is an essential but fragile system primarily made up of small businesses with slim profit margins. The impact of COVID-19 on our communities has been dramatic. At least half of child care programs have closed temporarily, and those that remain open are financially stressed, even while they are providing care for other essential workers. They are anxious about their ability to remain in business with reduced capacity and staffing, as well as limited financial resources.
When our communities and local businesses are able to reopen, it is questionable whether child care will be available to meet the demands of working families. Parents could be forced to remain home even if it is safe to return to work. I am truly concerned.
Early educators are essential workers. A strong economy depends upon a stable early learning workforce. This is why the Forum will continue to advocate for increased funding for early educators and child care programs, especially during these challenging times.
Wishing everyone a healthy and safe summer.