KENNEWICK, WA - The most recent Covid-19 economic relief bill includes $10 billion in aid to help struggling child care providers, an industry that has been hit hard by the pandemic.
According to the National Association for Young Children, 42% of child care provider survey respondents reported taking on debt while trying to keep their center open. Another 56% say they lose money every day they stay open, while trying to serve families in need.
One local childcare provider says it’s been a challenge to keep her daycare going.
"Some of my clients that were here are pretty afraid to be affected by Covid so they decide to stay home. The (daycare) enrollment is a lot less and the cost of operation is a lot higher providing extra paper towels, hand sanitizer, extra hours disinfecting," said Yolanda Robinson, Owner of Bilingual Learning in Kennewick.
Robinson also says many parents who lost their jobs can no longer afford childcare, and are staying home with their kids.
Advocate groups like First Five Years Fund say 10 billion dollars in Covid-19 relief is simply not enough. In order to keep the industry afloat, and for families to be able to afford child care First Five Years Fund, among others are urging congress to pass a bill that would provide 50 billion dollars in aid during this pandemic.
Experts also say when the child care industry is hit it additionally affects woman of color in particular, who more than others stay home to provide their own child care and in the process lose in the job market.