by Cheyanne Walker
Monroe County, N.Y. — As childcare providers struggled to keep masks on children and sanitize, they also faced tremendous financial challenges, as many families stopped sending their children to childcare during the pandemic.
The shift forced many childcare facilities to close their doors.
Thursday morning, The Children’s Agenda detailed the child care closures in New York since the pandemic.
The Children’s Agendas’ study says between January 2020 and July 2022, over 3,524 regulated childcare programs have closed across the state of New York with many of those being in home child services.
Childcare provider Armett Barnes, was in attendance of the press conference and she discussed her struggles as a childcare owner.
“Life as we know it for child care prior to the pandemic changed greatly when the pandemic happened. We didn’t know what that mean for families, we didn’t know what that meant for us.” Said Barnes
However the pandemic did not just affect childcare services it affected parents as well.
Single parent Qunita Britt says she has been forced to quit her job and stay at home for a year now because she can’t find nor afford childcare services.
“I had to leave my job and not return back to work because I didn’t have anyone to watch my child, so it is very very difficult when you don’t have childcare services or people who in your family or that type of support to help you make everything ok,” says Britt.
The greatest decline in child care facilities is seen in closures of home-based child care, rural upstate counties, lower income zip codes, and zip codes with more children of color.
Pete Nabozny, Director of Policy- The Children’s Agenda, says it’s been a huge loss.
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The Children’s Agenda advocates for effective policies and drives evidenced-based solutions for the health, education and success of children. We are especially committed to children who are vulnerable because of poverty, racism, health inequities and trauma.