By: Belinda M. Paschal Access article
The COVID-19 pandemic created a momentous challenge that Alexis Voss has not overcome: finding affordable quality child care so she can rejoin the workforce.
"Between me not working and not receiving maternity leave and then my husband getting laid off, like most people, our financials were very tight," said Voss, a writer, artist and mother of two small children. "Even with our oldest back to school now, I am still unable to put my toddler into daycare and return to work, the main reason being I can't afford it, and also I just don't personally feel comfortable with it."
Her husband has a new job and Voss said she wants to work outside of the house to achieve professional goals. Doing so just doesn't make economic sense for her family.
"I think I can speak for most moms in this situation," she said. "I would be working just to cover the cost of daycare."
In addition to cost, finding staff equipped to teach and care for young children remains a daunting barrier to enrollment and thus, to working parents’ access to care.
According to the Central Ohio Child Care Provider Survey Report published in November by Action for Children, 44% of center-based providers in Franklin County reported staff shortages, and 20% of providers were not confident that they would still be open within three months — a stark reminder that the child care sector is in jeopardy.