WASHINGTON, D.C. — Families across the U.S. are struggling to keep up with child care needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many are having to choose between earning an income and caring for their kids.
On Friday, lawmakers on Capitol Hill heard from child care providers about the economic impact of the crisis.
Some facilities have closed their doors because of a drop in enrollment.
Others have been forced to cut staff and/or hours to stay afloat.
“Hope went from serving 75 children to 25 in a matter of days,” said Georgia Goldburn of Hope Child Development Center.
With fewer child care facilities open, parents are left with fewer options.
That’s compounded by the fact many students are taking part in virtual learning.
Less time in the classroom means more time at home, leaving many parents trying to balance work and child care.
“It is women of color both as providers and parents that are struggling the most,” said Melissa Boteach from the National Women’s Law Center.
Elected leaders and child care experts discussed the need for additional funding for both families and providers.
“We need a substantially larger, long-term stable commitment to funding high-quality education and care,” said Theresa Hawley, from the office of Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
President Biden’s COVID-19 rescue plan includes billions of dollars for child care needs.