BATON ROUGE- Southside Child Development Center typically cares for around 60 children per day. As of now, that number is cut in half.
“It is harder to accept children due to the capacity limit, but we are looking after the safety and well being of our staff and our children here,” Owner Elizabeth Andry said.
A new study by the Baton Rouge Area Chamber looked at daycare centers across 9 parishes in the Capital Area.
Out of the 86 centers surveyed, 40 percent closed their doors amid the pandemic.
Recent childcare center closures have left more than 3600 children without daycare provision.
“We found that many of them who had closed temporarily definitely planned to reopen, and some of them have reopened,” BRAC spokesperson Elizabeth Walker said.
BRAC says some of the challenges daycare centers are facing are:
– Families unable to pay tuition
– Employees declining to work while receiving unemployment benefits
– And access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
“I think parents should know that child care providers are doing everything in their power, and BRAC is working alongside them to help get everyone back to some resemblance of normal,” Walker said.
Though the challenges were unexpected, daycare owners are hoping for the best.
“We are the backbone of the workforce, and without high-quality child care the rest of our society can’t go back to work because they need a place for their children,” Andry said.
The Governor will detail plans for a phase two reopening on Monday, June 1. Daycare centers will then be able to increase their capacity.