Who’s Watching Your Kids? 69% of Day Care Centers are Closed
As the great state of Louisiana is preparing to "re-open," quite a few new issues are arising. While state guidelines issued earlier this week by the office of our governor, John Bel Edwards, clearly outline who is going back to work - the question of who is going to watch their kids is still looming overhead.
According to a report from the Advocate, only 31% of the state's child care centers are currently open. That means 2 things: First off, will there be enough space for kids of parents returning to work? Secondly, how much is that going to cost compared to pre-Coronavirus prices? It seems like this is something we have to overcome before the economy can truly begin its return healthy numbers.
To help bridge the gap between where we are and where we need to be in this regard, child advocacy group the Louisiana Policy Institute (LPI) has requested monetary aid from both federal and Louisiana government officials for the child care industry in this state to the tune of $71 million. That's more than twice what the experts say this industry has lost this year ($30 million). According to LPI's executive director Libbie Sonnier, that's the bare minimum needed to get things back on track.
Approximately 966 licensed child-care centers are currently closed in the state. In a recent interview, Sonnier stated that each one would need an average of $23,000 to re-open. Of the 434 still open, almost all of them are exclusively caring for the children of essential workers.