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Texas Day Cares Struggle To Stay Open Even After Governor Lifts Some Limits

Gabriel C. Pérez/KUT
Caution tape surrounds playground and park equipment closed at the McKinney Heights Park in South Austin during the coronavirus pandemic.

From Texas Standard:

Texas is requiring day care providers to decrease class sizes and follow sanitization guidelines as they open up to serve more than just essential workers. For the last several months, many child care centers have been caring for a fraction of those that they usually serve.

“Which of course means less money coming in which is making things hard to make ends meet,” said Dallas Morning News reporter Charles Scudder. “One day care I talked to normally serves 80 kids, now has just 12. Another normally has 50 something kids, now only has four.”

Scudder reported a lot of North Texas day care operators are on the brink of bankruptcy or having to close their doors. They told him they have only seen a slight uptick in interest from non-essential workers wanting to send kids back.

“A lot of folks are still working from home and, if they’re working from home, why would they spend the money to take the kids back to day care?” Scudder said. “I think that’s part of it.”

Like other small businesses, day care facilities were eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program. But, like other small businesses, many did not receive funding. Texas also offered some help in the form of paying for the child care of essential workers – but that also did not help everyone.

“It did help some,” Scudder said. “There’s other day cares that didn’t take state funding to begin with and therefore were ineligible for that program… I’ve also heard that it wasn’t a lot of money compared to cost per child.”

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