NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — On Thursday, the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group will hold a community roundtable at 10 a.m. regarding how best to balance health and economic outcomes amid the pandemic. One of the likely topics is the crisis among the state’s daycare providers.
Connecticut lawmakers have introduced a $50 billion bill to help the states struggling child care system who has lost clientele due to COVID-19. Tens of thousands of daycare spots could disappear without more help from the federal government.
That’s what the Commissioner of Early Childhood is warning, and it’s one of the things the governor’s re-opening committee will be talking about on Thursday,
Some of the day care centers that have been closed for months will have to go out of business. Others will have limitations on the number of kids they are allowed to take in, having to adhere to proper socially distancing guidelines. That means less revenue.
U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro and several others introduced the Childcare is Essential Act.
“Schools are closed, businesses are closed,” DeLauro said. “We’re talking about trying to reopen, and where are people going to put their kids? We’re talking about millions of kids that will not be able to access child care if we don’t do something like this.”
Louise Abate, who has been running Cookie Monster day care out of her home for 40 years, said the pandemic forced her to close for nearly three weeks after a parent came down with the virus.
For those few weeks, she said she didn’t see a dime from the food program.
“They don’t pay you unless you have kids here and send in paperwork, so for 2.5 weeks I’m losing money for that as well.”
She also fears her services, for some parents, will no longer be needed.
“I feel that not a lot of parents, but some parents, are going to wind up where there bosses kind of like them working at home, and it could really hurt day cares down the road tremendously.”
Representative DeLauro said it’s now up to the people to put pressure on the House and on the Senate to bring this to a vote.
“The external pressure on the Congress is what moves it, and the folks out there, the teachers, the family, siblings, grandparents, they are the external pressure which is what we need right now to get this across the finish line,” DeLauro said.
The Governor’s Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group will hold a virtual roundtable Thursday morning and will be taking questions from the public. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your question.