Lancaster Online: LTE: Child care center suffering greatly
May 19, 2020 

Our Star-4 child care facility closed on March 14. In that moment, I stopped serving our 149 families and their children. I had to lay off 20 employees. The majority of my families do not participate in child care subsidy to help pay for the cost of their care. Instead they pay out of pocket.

That means for the past eight weeks, I have had no income when it comes to private-pay tuition. Because of this, my child care program has taken a substantial hit. The loss of income has placed an enormous amount of stress on not only my family, but the families of my employees, whom I have not been able to pay.

In order to reopen, I have to hope my employees did not find other work and that I can somehow make up for all the business costs. We have encouraged our employees to file for unemployment but, due to the inadequate system to handle the number of unemployment claims struggling Pennsylvanians have filed, most of our staff have not received a penny through traditional unemployment or the special Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

Like every other small business, financial support is critical during this crisis. Gov. Tom Wolf, state Sen. Ryan Aument and state Rep. Mindy Fee should utilize federal stimulus funds to reimburse child care providers for a portion of private tuition payments that could not be collected from families during the shutdown. This financial support would go far in giving me the means to reopen.

Charlotte Brady
Cocalico Care Center