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La. child care industry loses $245M statewide due to COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Mar. 30, 2021 at 9:52 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2021 at 2:38 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted Louisiana’s child care industry.

According to the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children, the child care industry has lost $245M statewide. LPIC conducted four surveys that explain the millions of dollars lost. The data from the four surveys showed 2,200 people lost their jobs during the pandemic as a result of several child care facilities closing throughout the state.

“The collective losses from March 2020 through the end of January 2021 is $245M just for the Louisiana child care sector. So, the losses are immense, and to really understand that we needed to be able to do the survey,” said Libbie Sonnier the Louisiana Policy and Institute for Children Executive Director.

The survey also revealed another example of the pandemic’s crippling effect--3,000 children lost access to care.

“We had about 2,200 people that lost jobs due to the pandemic in the child care industry. So that’s 2,200 jobs and then 3,000 children lost access to quality early care and education because we had providers that had to close because they couldn’t really withstand the financial losses,” said Sonnier.

Not every facility closed its doors, but the ones that remained open had to do more with less, including reducing the number of children they served. Plus, they implemented more rigorous Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines (CDC) like social distancing and disinfecting.

“So, you had reduced ratios, but you also have reduced enrollment because families either lost their jobs, or they couldn’t afford child care anymore. We know that child care in Louisiana on average costs families about $7,500 a year per child, and we know that the actual cost of true quality care and education is about $12,000 a year prior to COVID,” said Sonnier.

LPIC says this survey shed light on the hard-hitting effect of the coronavirus pandemic, but they were still able to help several families with their bills through their Child Care Assistance Program.

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