Child Care Programs Play Crucial Role in Economic Recovery
Published: May 27, 2020
By: Childcare Resources
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As the state beings to reopen, the child care workforce looks forward to being able to once again support families and provide quality care and education to the young children they care for each day.
When the state first issued stay-at-home orders back in March, many businesses were forced to close their doors, and child care programs were no exception. During late March, only 33 child care programs were open and operating according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources Open Provider Listing. As of late May, more than 112 child care providers are open and operating, with even more preparing to open their doors in the coming weeks.
“For parents to be able to be focused, effective employees, it’s essential they know their children are in a safe environment each day while they’re at work,” says Joan Wright, Executive Director for Childcare Resources. “It’s been wonderful to see our early education community eager to open their doors to once again provide quality education and care to children across the community.”
For many working families, the decision to send their children back to child care amidst the novel coronavirus pandemic is about more than just safety; it’s about economics. The truth of the matter is that many families cannot work if they do not have a place to send their children during the day. This is why many working families will be relieved to hear child care programs are among the businesses across our state who are re-opening their doors.
“During such a time of uncertainty, families felt more comfortable keeping their children with them at home,” says Wright. “But now as employers are calling their workforce back into the office, it’s vital that child care programs are available for working parents to have safe a place for their children to be during the day.”
For those child care programs who have been able to re-open, strict safety measures have been put in place, including limiting classes to less than 11 children, implementation of additional cleaning and sanitation practices, encouraged social distancing between children, along with new policies including curbside pick-up and drop-off to discourage parents from entering the building. Some child care providers are limiting virus exposure by only working with families and children who remained enrolled in their programs prior to COVID-19 and are not accepting any new enrollment; others with vacancies are accepting new families into their programs.
As more parents and caregivers begin returning to the workforce, Wright also encourages them to take advantage of Childcare Resources free Resource and Referral Program to help locate child care programs open and available to care for their children. “Parents and caregivers can call the agency to be directly connected to a Resource and Referral Coordinator who will conduct a customized child care search from a database of child care providers across the state,” she shares. “We can even customize a search by specific family needs, such as days and hours of operation, location, or even providers that provide transportation.”
“Everything we do at Childcare Resources is to support families, children, and child care providers. Our Resource and Referral Program is an important resource for the community, and we are grateful to be able to still offer this service to families, even during the ongoing pandemic.”
To support the mission of Childcare Resources, or to learn more about the Resource and Referral Program, visit www.CCR-BHM.org or call 205-945-0018 Ext. 306.
ABOUT CHILDCARE RESOURCES: Childcare Resources is a non-profit organization and United Way partner agency located in Birmingham, Alabama that makes quality child care happen by providing information, education, and assistance to families, providers of child care, and the community.