New report: 35% of Louisiana child care centers surveyed will not reopen post-COVID-19 restrictions

Louisiana News

(WDSU)

Louisiana Policy Institute for Children surveyed over 400 centers

NEW ORLEANS, La. (WDSU) — A new report released by the Louisiana Policy Institute for Children finds that many child care centers in Louisiana will not reopen once coronavirus restrictions are lifted.

To view the report, click here.

Of the 449 centers it surveyed from March 16 to March 23, 35 percent are expected to close permanently. The institute said those centers served 12,500 children and employed 2,000 workers. It found that most child care centers closed when Gov. John Bel Edwards announced school closures on March 13.

Since that order, a stay at home order has been extended to April 30.

“This is crippling to an industry,” said Libbie Sonnier-Netto, executive director of the institute. “It’s, quite frankly, really showing the infrastructure that props up childcare is being decimated day-be-day, which is nobody’s fault, but it’s just an effect of the pandemic.”

Sonnier-Netto said families will face difficult decisions when working parents return to work.

“We know currently, before the pandemic, that childcare on average costs $7,500 annually — that is almost as much as college tuition,” said Sonnier-Netto. “If these centers are forced to permanently shutter their doors, Louisiana working parents will be left with even fewer options for quality childcare than before. we will be in a far worse state than we were before the pandemic.”

The Louisiana Policy Institute for Children is launching a follow-up survey of the state of child care businesses next week.

By: Jennifer Crockett

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