Childcare Providers Say More State Funding Needed To Stave Off Crisis
Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Photo by Andi Dukleth
Citing a childcare crisis brought on by the pandemic, a union of domestic workers is asking the state for more funding for childcare providers to prevent more daycares and preschools from closing.
Already, 5,000 providers statewide have closed, according to the Child Care Providers United, a project of the union United Domestic Workers.
"For 5,000 providers, Monday never came," said Lynn James, a childcare provider in San Diego. "And from those 5,000, more children have no daycare. Those families, many are essential workers, have nowhere to send their children."
She said businesses like hers need more funding from the government. State rules put in place at the onset of the pandemic have forced childcare providers to cut class sizes while costs for additional staffing and cleaning supplies have gone up. Now, nearly seven months later, many are going out of business.
A study from UC Berkeley found that 62% of childcare programs in Southern California experienced a loss of income due to low attendance or families not paying the fees, and 81% made staffing changes including laying off employees or cutting benefits.
Miren Algorri, a childcare provider in Chula Vista, said she wants the state to reimburse centers that temporarily close when a child or parent tests positive for COVID-19.
"We're here to sound the alarm," she said. "If the state doesn't take action today, they will never be able to reopen and more childcare providers are going to be forced to close their doors."
San Diego County has created a $25 million grant program for childcare providers. Under the program, home daycares licensed for as many as 14 children can receive up to $3,500 and those licensed for up to eight children can receive as much as $2,750.
The money is expected to be awarded soon.
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