Report: US Childcare Centers Struggle Amid the Pandemic

Category : Education/Family

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. convene / kənˈvin / (v) – to assemble or come together for a meeting or activity

    Delegates from around the world convened in Tokyo for the annual international event.

  2. go out of business / goʊ aʊt əv ˈbɪz nɪs / (idiom) – to close down (as in a business)

    The company went out of business because it wasn’t making enough money.

  3. adhere / ædˈhɪər / (v) – to follow a rule or agreement

    Students who do not adhere to school policies will be punished.

  4. slash / slæʃ / (v) – to cut or reduce something by a large amount

    The brand attracted more customers after it slashed its prices.

  5. relief / rɪˈlif / (n) – things that are provided to support people in a difficult situation

    Relief efforts to help the typhoon victims are ongoing.


Read the text below.

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.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it’s ideal for childcare centers to operate during a pandemic? Why or why not?
• How can childcare centers continue supporting children even when they’re not operating (e.g. organize online sessions)? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What are some reasons why parents send their children to childcare centers? Discuss.
• What are other possible issues that the childcare industry is currently facing (e.g. lack of funding, lack of teachers)? Discuss.

Category : Education/Family