Nurseries are struggling to stay open. Here’s how it affects families

0

From inner cities to rural communities, many U.S. child care providers are raising tuition prices to fight inflation, adding yet another strain on families. At the KidzStuff Childcare Center in Baltimore, the cost of food, rent, electricity and supplies is skyrocketing. CEO Angela Kidane has raised her staff’s salaries by around 40% in a tight labor market, but she’s still struggling to hire teachers. This forced her to close at least one classroom, which could cost the nonprofit up to $150,000 for the year. “We’ve probably increased our running costs by at least 30-35%,” Kidane told CNN. “What’s going through my mind is how is this going to affect our parents? We’re going to have to pass on the cost.” . For some families, full-time child care could cost thousands more per year. “It’s not easy for us to have to do this, but it’s a necessity,” Kidane said. “We couldn’t survive. We wouldn’t stay open.” Nationwide child care programs raise fees for the same reasons. “don’t have an alternative to keep the doors open, that’s what has to happen. And they hate doing that to parents, they hate it.” Inflation is not the only problem Inflation is only part of the problem. According to a report by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. Last year, the median wage in the industry was just over $13 an hour, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. industry-accredited programs – creating longer waiting lists and higher tuition fees for parents. “We hear from people across the country that child care costs are unaffordable, and we also hear from parents who are child care workers that they are not earning a living wage,” said the executive director of MomsRising, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “Already, an estimated half a million families in the United States of America are without child care due to lack of access and affordability,” said she added. “With the mounting pressure from inflation, even more families are finding themselves stranded without childcare. Demand for childcare could increase further with COVID-19 vaccines now available for children under the age of 5. licensed child care providers, said they have seen wait lists increase by about 25% in recent months.” Coupled with the fact that so many programs have been forced to close during COVID, the problem of supply and demand has been a aggravated. Delaware’s Rehoboth Beach area, owner Sean Toner is raising tuition by 8% to 10% this fall for the second year in a row to fight inflation and raise teacher salaries to about $14 Of time. something that shouldn’t cost as much,” Toner said. “I don’t want to be that person who pushes parents away.” Jessica Gebbia is a teacher at Beach Babies. Her 5-year-old son also goes there for daycare. “Most of my salary is just going to have him here,” Gebbia said. “It’s tough, because now we have gas prices, food prices, everything is just going up.” But Gebbia does not want to quit her job. “I love what I do,” she said. “These kids need teachers who love what they do.” But many mothers have left the workforce. It’s part of a growing trend: In May, women’s jobs accounted for 88% of those lost in the pandemic, according to the Labor Department. Although pandemic relief funds have helped stabilize child care providers somewhat, those funds are set to expire within the next two years. Advocates fear the industry is headed for a cliff and are urging increased federal investment in child care to close the gap between tight provider margins and rising costs for families. “The pandemic has made it nearly impossible for vendors to continue, and current market conditions have made it even more difficult,” said Michelle Kang, CEO of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. to shore up and strengthen supply, we are headed for disaster, which would leave families without childcare options.” As childcare prices rise, millions of families face tough decisions. for $370 a week in San Diego since her employer cut her hours in half, so she took her kids to Taiwan to stay with her family over the summer while she looked for a second job, she said. “The reason we’re still struggling to pay for this childcare is because I don’t want to give up my career. I try so hard because I feel like I should be an example for my kids.”

From inner cities to rural communities, many child care providers in the United States are raising the price of tuition to fight inflation, adding yet another strain for families.

At the KidzStuff Childcare Center in Baltimore, the cost of food, rent, electricity and supplies is skyrocketing. CEO Angela Kidane has raised her staff’s salaries by around 40% in a tight labor market, but she’s still struggling to hire teachers. This forced her to close at least one classroom, which could cost the nonprofit up to $150,000 for the year.

“We’ve probably increased our operating costs by at least 30 to 35 percent,” Kidane told CNN. “What’s going through my mind is how is this going to affect our parents? We’re going to have to pass on the cost.”

This fall, Kidane will raise tuition fees for the third time in 12 months – in all, up 30%. For some families, full-time child care could cost thousands more per year.

“It’s not easy for us to have to do this, but it’s a necessity,” Kidane said. “We couldn’t survive. We wouldn’t stay open.”

Nationwide child care programs are increasing rates for the same reasons.

“It’s happening everywhere,” said National Child Care Association director Cindy Lehnhoff. “[Programs] have no alternative to keep the doors open, that’s what has to happen. And they hate doing that to parents, they hate it.”

Inflation is not the only problem

Inflation is only part of the problem. There are 11.2% fewer child care workers in the industry than before the pandemic, despite federal relief funds that have helped programs raise salaries (at least a little), according to a report by the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at the University of California, Berkeley. Last year, the median wage in the industry was just over $13 an hour, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A study found as of March 2021, nearly 16,000 child care programs had closed during the pandemic – around 9% of industry-approved programs – creating longer waiting lists and higher tuition fees for parents .

“We’re hearing from people across the country saying that child care costs are unaffordable, and we’re also hearing from parents who are child care workers that they’re not making a living wage,” the agency said. CEO of MomsRising, Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner.

“It is already estimated that half a million families in the United States of America are without childcare due to lack of access and affordability,” she added. “With the mounting pressure from inflation, even more families are finding themselves stuck without child care.”

Demand for childcare services could increase further with COVID-19 vaccines now available for children under 5.

“Families can’t wait to get their children back to daycare safely,” said TOOTRiS CEO Alessandra Lezama. “Coupled with the fact that so many programs have been forced to close during COVID, the supply and demand issue has been compounded.

“We don’t want to charge our parents more”

At Beach Babies Child Care, which has multiple locations in the Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, area, owner Sean Toner is raising tuition fees by 8-10 percent this fall for the second year in a row to fight inflation and to raise teacher salaries to around $14 an hour.

“We don’t want to charge our parents more for something that shouldn’t cost that much,” Toner said. “I don’t want to be that person chasing parents.”

Jessica Gebbia is a teacher at Beach Babies. Her 5-year-old son also goes to daycare there.

“Most of my paycheck is just going to have it here,” Gebbia said. “It’s tough, because now we have gas prices, food prices, everything is just going up.”

But Gebbia does not want to quit her job.

“I love what I do,” she said. “These kids need teachers who love what they do.”

But many mothers have left the workforce. It’s part of a growing trend: In May, female jobs accounted for 88% of those lost in the pandemic, according to the Labor Department.

Although pandemic relief funds have somewhat stabilized child care providers, these funds are set to expire within the next two years. Proponents fear the industry is headed for a cliff and are urging that more federal investments in child care close the gap between tight provider margins and rising costs for families.

“The pandemic has made it almost impossible for providers to continue, and current market conditions have made it even more difficult,” said Michelle Kang, CEO of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. “Without action to consolidate and strengthen the supply, we are headed for disaster, which would leave families with no options for care.”

As child care prices rise, millions of families face tough decisions.

To-Wen Tseng and her husband have struggled to afford $370-a-week childcare in San Diego since her employer cut her hours in half. So she took her children to Taiwan to stay with her family for the summer while she looked for a second job.

“If I just quit my job and stay home and watch my kids, maybe everything will be easier for my family,” Tseng said. “The reason we are still struggling to pay for this childcare is because I don’t want to give up on my career. I’m trying so hard because I feel like I should be an example for my kids. .”

Share.

Comments are closed.