BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The coronavirus has created a crisis within the childcare system.
Many providers are small businesses. Fewer families are paying so some may never be able to re-open. Meanwhile, many essential workers are still in need.
According to data from Yale, there are nearly 2.5 million children of healthcare workers in the U.S. right now needing child care that have no obvious child care providers available at home.
"There is still a real challenge," said Lynette M. Fraga, PH.D., Child Care Aware of America executive director. "I heard from a nurse earlier this week who had her child in childcare. The very next day that childcare center closed. She was stuck."
The head of the non-profit 'Child Care Aware' says facilities that are staying open need more resources.
$3.5 billion was set aside to support child care in the latest stimulus package.
The group says more is needed in the long term. They're asking Congress for at least $50 billion.
"So prior to the pandemic we already had a strained underfunded, under-resourced childcare system and childcare providers who didn't have benefits. And often are paid very low wages to support their families," said Fraga.
Child Care Aware has resources on its website for people needing child care. Also guidance on if a facility should stay open or close.
You can also find updated CDC cleaning and safety guidelines for open facilities.