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Childcare centers in the United States are struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic, a report says.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) conducted a survey to identify the challenges childcare providers in the country are currently facing. The survey came just weeks after the US Congress convened in February to talk about the crisis in the childcare industry.
Findings revealed that nearly 50% of childcare centers or programs in the United States may go out of business because of the pandemic. Only 11% of childcare providers in the country are confident that they will remain in business without significant support from the government.
Based on information from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 330,000 childcare workers have already lost their source of income since March. Ellen Dressman, owner of a nursery school in California, had to close her business of 25 years indefinitely. She thought that it would be difficult to stay profitable while adhering to health safety guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Currently, childcare services across the country can accommodate 12 million children, but this figure may be slashed by 4.5 million by the end of the pandemic.
To support the childcare industry, the US Congress allotted $3.5 billion under a coronavirus relief bill passed in March. However, some experts and politicians projected that at least $50 billion is needed to keep the entire industry operational for roughly five months.