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As more people head back to the workplace, many worry about child care

child care costs
Posted at 12:40 PM, Apr 26, 2021

People are getting vaccinated, and soon, employees could be headed back to the workplace.

Sounds like the moment we've all been waiting for, except that parents will be forced to find child care—an existing crisis made worse by the pandemic.

According to a study by LendingTree, the lack of child care is a two-fold problem: there are fewer options and rising costs.

"It's costing a lot more for these facilities to get up to standards that people now want out of these facilities, whether it's just cleanliness or whether it's keeping up with government regulations," said Matt Schulz, chief credit analyst at LendingTree.

According to the Center for American Progress, many states had room for just 1 in 5 infants and toddlers pre-pandemic. The coronavirus likely made that worse.

There is some good news, though, as the vaccine rollout continues, some states are allowing for more kids at child care centers.

"It's pretty exciting to just open up all of those classrooms and just have those rooms full of laughter every day,” said Makenzie Newcomb, a preschool teacher at Megaminds Educare in Lexington, Kentucky.

Some challenges will continue, including limited interactions with parents, added costs for PPE, and keeping groups of kids separated within facilities.