Child Care Aware of Virginia is humbled to release this report highlighting the numerous challenges faced by the child care and early education profession in Virginia due to the COVID-19 health crisis of 2020. Child care, early education and school-age programs experienced closures, revenue and staff losses like many other businesses, but also faced unique challenges as many struggled to remain open to serve essential personnel in the early days of the pandemic, and many are still struggling with low enrollment, short staffing, expensive safety requirements and loss of revenue to sustain operations.
We conducted a survey of all child care programs in Virginia, accessible to providers from May – September, to assess programs’ operating status and the impacts the pandemic has had on these businesses. Over 1,400 professionals provided feedback, and we are grateful to have the opportunity to share their valuable voices.
We know there is no economic recovery without child care! Understanding the challenges child care and ECE programs face can help Virginia policy makers and support systems develop strategies to best support the needs of working families and better understand the critical importance of investing in early care and education programming as an economic strategy. Independent Policy and Program Consultant, Grace Reef, contributed to this report, as well as CCAoVA staff.