WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Families across the country face major challenges with childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic and for many of them it doesn’t seem to be getting much better.
According to a September 2020 study by the Center for American Progress, the cost of childcare increased 47 percent during the pandemic.
The current version of President Biden’s COVID relief plan provides about $39 billion for childcare providers.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) cited the rising costs as a leading cause of working parents, especially women, leaving the workforce.
“Mothers and families have to make a choice between going to work and ensuring that their kids are properly cared for, ” said DeLauro.
Childcare providers are also suffering financially during the crisis.
“The overwhelming majority are women and people of color have been operating on razor thin margins,” added DeLauro.
Oklahoma Congressman Tom Cole says, while childcare is a challenge, the federal government should stay focused on getting schools back open.
“There’s no substitute for in person learning,” remarked Cole.
Cole also says that childcare issues are not the only reason people left the workforce.
“We have a group of people who left honestly not because of child care needs, but because their jobs disappeared. It is true in the hospitality, leisure and travel industry,” said Cole.
A July survey by the National Association for the Education of Young Children found that two out of five are certain they’ll close without some public assistance.
Georgia Goldburn, a childcare center owner in Connecticut, is asking for Congressional relief because going out of business will hurt working families.
“The child care industry, like banks in 2008, is on the verge of collapse,” said Goldburn.