Express-Times: LTE: Closed child-care services need support to get through COVID-19 crisis
By: Gail Reaser April 2, 2020

My business partner and I have owned and operated The Children’s Garden for 16 years. Since this time we’ve achieved and maintained a Star 3 rating, which designates high-quality child care in Pennsylvania. Since the COVID-19 outbreak, like so many of my colleagues in early learning who are also small business owners, we’ve had to close our child care center.

We want nothing more than to be able to reopen when this health crisis has passed, and provide child care and early learning in a caring and high-quality environment for the 75 families counting on us and our staff of teachers to return to work.

I’m worried about how our economy will recover if child care centers close for good. The COVID-19 crisis has exposed the fragility of the system. We’ve always operated on the slimmest of margins, but this will force so many to shut their doors for good.

Child care is an industry upon which all other industries rely. We are all doing our best to keep people safe by closing down our businesses. The likelihood of these valuable community assets reopening without some support is very low.

Once we are past this health crisis and businesses reopen, early care will be needed more than ever in order to restore our workforce and economy. Without some sort of stimulus the threat of child care centers closing for too long is that they may never reopen.

Gail Reaser
Northampton

Read the Letter to the Editor here.

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