Advocate: Nationwide child care reopening to cost $50 billion
By John McPhaul
The national child-care system is a vital part of the economy and will require an investment of $50 billion to restart after closing down in response to the coro- navirus pandemic, said Dr. Lynette Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware of America, which includes Puerto Rico.
“Absent child care it is difficult for com- munities to recover from the coronavirus,” she said. “Without child care, parents face incredible barriers to returning to work.”
Child Care Aware of America is a national non-profit organization based in Arlington, Va. and dedicated to assuring that each and every child has access to an affordable childcare system.
“The outbreak of the [coronavirus that causes] COVID-19 has only increased the challenge being faced to providing child care,” Fraga said.
She noted that 30 to 50 percent of child care centers have been closed nationwide because of the virus.
“Child care centers are small businesses and as small businesses, they need the resources and support to make themselves whole,” Fraga said.
In order for childcare providers to be able to provide safe, healthy, nurturing, supportive care for children and parents, it is necessary to have a system that provides for that, she said.
“That requires a real investment,” Fraga said.
Parents also need to be made aware of the challenges of keeping their children safe from the virus. This is particularly true for drop off and pick-up points where the children are particularly exposed to the possibility of contracting the virus, she said. For more information, visit the Child Care Aware website at childcreaware.org. Child Care Aware has also set up website dedicated to Puerto Rico at: https://www.childcareaware.org/state/puerto-rico/.