The corona virus pandemic has caused some of the worst injustices in the US, including deficiencies in the US childcare system. Thousands of child care facilities are at risk the closure is permanent and Americans are already struggling to buy child care before the pandemic now faces a more precarious economy.
For Tanesha Borgman, a speech pathologist outside Denver, Colorado, this pandemic is exacerbating an already difficult situation. Borgman has a three-year-old son with special needs who goes to preschool and asks child care providers to come to their homes.
“Once Covid-19 happened, we could no longer afford it,” said Borgman, who lost a third of his clients after the pandemic struck, when he and her husband switched to work from home while taking turns caring for their son. He plans to start returning to the client’s home visit to recover the income lost during the pandemic. “We hope to pay for childcare when I have the full salary again.”
The rising cost of childcare is a growing problem in the US exacerbated by the fact that the availability of childcare has declined and more than half of these countries live in environments where childcare is not available.
Childcare costs in the US increased by 40% between 1990 and 2011, according to the US Census Bureau. That average cost child care in the US from an infant up to four years of age is between $ 9,100 to $ 9,600 per year, but this costs varies greatly from $ 5,436 per year in Mississippi to $ 24,243 for annual child care costs in Washington DC.
Some 51% Americans live in the desert of child care, is defined as an area without childcare providers or where the ratio of children under 5 years of age with cumulative childcare capacity is greater than 3 to 1.
This pandemic is expected to exacerbate these problems, as a survey conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children in March 2020 found only 11% childcare providers can survive closure indefinitely without government support 4.5 million child care slots in the US at risk of disappearing.
“People fought before the pandemic and are now at their peak,” said Nina Perez, Director of the National Early Childhood Campaign at MomsRising. “If we don’t save childcare providers, there’s no economic recovery, because what will happen when people can’t work or work at full capacity if we don’t know the childcare department? It should always be a public good and if we give it a strong investment, it should, we will not experience this crisis in a crisis. ”
Child care providers have begun to close permanently, citing the coronavirus pandemic.
Diana Limongi, a mother of two children in New York City, recently received a notification that her daughter’s child care provider would not reopen.
“I’m heartbroken,” said Limongi, who works as a freelance contractor. “Once my son returns to school, whatever form it takes, I will only reduce my workload, or find my daughter’s caregiver. I am at a point where I don’t see myself through the whole process of looking for childcare providers, and I don’t know how safe it will happen. “
Childcare costs are higher disproportionate impact women in the workforce, and as childcare providers become more scarce because of the coronavirus pandemic, women will likely forced to leave their jobs or reduce work hours.
“There may be some women who want to work outside the home, but because childcare becomes more expensive, they are prevented from doing that. We have lots research evidence of the negative effects of the costs of childcare on female labor force participation, “said Francine Blau, a professor of economics and employment relations at Cornell University. “Among the people employed, it makes them lower incomes to cover other expenses they face such as rent and food, thus squeezing them.”
The cost of having children in the US contribute to for record low childbirth, while the average wage for US male and female workers left behind cost of basic living needs. A Estimated at 24% American households with children headed by single women, and the US one of only three countries in the world, along with Papua New Guinea and the Marshall Islands, which do not offer women workers who are mandated to take maternity leave.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Elizabeth Gaona of Merced, California left the workforce in November 2019 to become a mother who stayed at home because her family could not afford the costs of child care.
“My youngest child was born November 5, 2019, and at that time we decided that it would not matter if I worked, because all my checks would go to daycare,” Gaona told the Guardian.
The mother of four previously worked as a housekeeper and in a grocery store, earning around $ 24,000 a year, mostly used for child care. Now her family, from Merced, California, depends solely on her husband’s income, which earns around $ 50,000 a year in warehousing.
“Losing my income makes it difficult for us to follow our bills. “I worked well in my third trimester to try to reduce the damage but it didn’t help much unless it made me tired,” Gaona said. “Every month seems like running crazy just to turn on the lights. My husband and I often skip meals to make sure our children get enough food.”
When parents struggle to pay for childcare and find service providers, those who work in childcare face low wages throughout the industry. A June 2018 report by the University of California-Berkeley was found 58% Child care workers in California depend on one or more public assistance programs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median wage for childcare workers in the US is $ 11.17 per hour, more than $ 23,000 per year.
“I have been working in childcare for more than ten years now, and only until two years ago did I start getting paid $ 15 per hour, and that was after working full time when going to school at night just to get my colleague’s degree at the start childhood education, “said Emily Best, 29, who works in child care outside of Boston, Massachusetts. “Somehow I and many others like me are seen as caregivers of glorified children and our salaries reflect that. At this level, I cannot have children of my own because it will require two-thirds of my income just by sending them to my own classroom. ”
During the pandemic, Best continued to work in the emergency care center, even with a reduced work schedule.
“We are all worried about what happens when we ‘return’. Do all families still want to send their children? Do we all still have work?” Said the best.
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