Reading Eagle: LTE: Child care centers crucial to reviving our economy
April 18, 2020

I’m the owner of Tiny Thinkers Academy, a child care center in Blandon. Prior to our doors shutting in mid-March because of COVID-19, we cared for 63 children ages 6 weeks to sixth grade and employed 23 staff members. We opened our doors in June 2018. This shutdown has been extremely difficult because we haven’t even turned a profit yet due to startup loans.

Yet as a small-business owner, I am still responsible for my center’s financial obligations of rent and utility payments in order to maintain it for when we do reopen. The pandemic has exposed the fragility of the child care system as a whole, which operates on the slimmest of margins.

Though we did file a waiver to remain open, only two children of essential workers needed care, meaning it wasn’t financially possible for us to open our doors.

The parents who rely on my center, are not considered essential workers and have the ability to work from home are doing so with crying infants and toddlers in need of attention. Once they are permitted to return to their workplaces, they will need centers like mine to return to their jobs. Once we are past this health crisis and businesses reopen, child care will be needed more than ever in order to help restore our workforce and economy.

Emily Hartman

Maidencreek Township

See the letter to the editor here.

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