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Under Strain Of Pandemic, Some Child Care Providers May Face Permanent Closure

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Nearly one in five child care providers in Indiana say they are likely to permanently close in the future, according to a survey conducted by the Office for Early Childhood and Out of School Learning at the end of last year.

Almost three quarters of child care providers said enrollment is down since the start of the pandemic. At the same time, many said operating costs went up, as they try to keep pace with new pandemic social distancing and sanitization requirements.

Indiana University associate professor Jessica Calarco says financial pressures on childcare facilities have ripple effects on parents looking for quality care.

“When their child care centers close, it can leave them vulnerable to getting into situations where the quality of care is not what they're hoping for, and not with their kids' needs,” Calarco said.

The Office of Early Childhood and Out of School Learning says it is using these findings to explore more options for support, and plans to conduct additional surveys. The survey last year collected input from 949 child care providers across the state.

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