Texas

Pandemic Has Child Care Providers in Texas ‘Hanging On By Their Fingernails’

A recent survey found that over half of child care providers in Texas are putting supplies or other items on their personal credit cards or dipping into their own savings in order to stay open.

Mother Putting A Face Mask On Her Son
Child care services were allowed to open in the state’s reopening plan earlier this year.

Over half of all child care providers in Texas are losing money every day they’re open, and a third of them fear they’ll have to close within three months if they don’t enroll more children or receive more coronavirus aid.

That’s according to a recent survey by a national early education association that’s been pressing Congress for more relief.

Among the survey’s finding for child care providers in Texas:

  • Fifty-six percent of child care providers in Texas are putting supplies or other items on their personal credit cards. Or they’re dipping into their own savings in order to stay open.
  • Even more — over 80% — have seen costs go up for cleaning supplies.
  • Just over half said they know of multiple day cares or family in-home providers that have closed permanently in their community.

There are many providers that are, quote-unquote, ‘open’ — hanging on by their fingernails,” said Rhian Evans Allvin, CEO of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “We know that they’re serving children every day, we know that families are showing up and dropping their children off. But the economics of the lower enrollment rates, the increased costs make it so that on a daily basis, the economics of childcare is upside down.”

Evans Allvin said that NAEYC has asked Congress for at least $15 billion in federal relief to hold on during the pandemic. That’s far below their original ask of $50 billion.

They’re among many industries and sectors that are hoping Congressional leaders will overcome a stalemate and pass a roughly $900 billion coronavirus relief package to help American families and workers struggling this holiday season.

“Hopefully, this crisis has just demonstrated in obvious ways how if childcare doesn’t work, the rest of the economy doesn’t work,” Evans Allvin said. “And so we have got to fix the structure of the child-care system. And that is making the economics of child care work, that’s making it accessible for parents so that parents have real choices in high quality child care.”

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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