The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Natali Fani-González, 301.442.8459,

National Child Care Survey Finds: Full Government Investment in Child Care Is Badly Needed


A new survey by Community Change Action of early childhood educators and child care providers found that more than 78% of respondents reported having been laid-off or furloughed from their programs or are either continuing to work but earning less or have seen reductions in program revenue.

The report, Child Care Providers Need Assistance Now: Survey Results From the Front Lines, which surveyed 1536 respondents from May 1 - May 13, 2020, also found that more than 14% of open programs reported not having adequate PPE and cleaning supplies. Of those who did, almost 9 in 10 (89.4%) obtained and paid for them on their own, exacerbating their economic hardship. In an environment where PPE and cleaning supplies have been hard to come by, only 8.1% reported receiving them from their respective states.

"Safe and accessible child care is essential to the nation's economy and warrants full public investment," stated Wendoly Marte, Director of Economic Justice for Community Change Action. "This survey shows how this Administration is failing our country and how Congress is out of touch with the reality of working people. Child care providers are not getting the financial relief they need to continue to operate or to be in a position to reopen. Many are having to close their doors -- perhaps forever -- and parents will have no one to care for their children so they can go back to work. If we really want to re-open the economy and ensure that child care is safe for providers and families, we need a major federal investment - $100 billion - in child care."

The survey shows that 68% of providers that are open only to provide care to essential workers report that they are getting paid less or that their programs have lost revenue.

They also report that existing federal relief has been inaccessible and insufficient to meet the needs of child care providers. For example, fewer than one in three (30.4%) childcare centers and home-based child care owners who applied for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans, meant to provide economic relief to small businesses experiencing a temporary loss of revenue, received the funding; 49% reported that the program was out of money by the time they applied.

Among the responses received in the survey:

Child care educator from Kentucky:

"Want to go back to work asap to serve our families but WILL NOT do so until I'm confident MYSELF that it is SAFE."

A child care educator from Brooklyn, NY:

"Schools will be closed for the remainder of the year, restaurants, stores and other services will begin to re-open and begin their operations, with social distancing in mind, as we enter the "new normal." All this is done, without consideration, or direction for child care operations. Are we not part of the New York small business industry? We have been put under the umbrella of DOE, with regards to closing, but we do not have DOE level support. We do not operate out of city owned buildings, we have rents to pay. Our teachers and staff do not get a salary from budgeted city funds, we are tuition based operations and currently have zero revenue to pay our staff or anything else. More importantly, we have no time frame that allows us to plan as business owners. So many owners will be forced to close their doors. Not because they cannot keep the children safe, or because they cannot wait. The issue is, what are they/we waiting for, and how long? Why must we be the afterthought? If we are closed, same as with schools, who will watch the kids, when parents go back to work. We need guidance. I need guidance, so as a business owner, I can plan and hopefully be around when the dust settles."

Community Change Action is a national organization that builds power from the ground up. We believe that effective and enduring social movements must be led by those most impacted by injustice and voting is one essential lever of change.