NAFCC conducted a survey  of family child care professionals in August 2020 to understand the current conditions, needs, and struggles that family child care programs across the nation are facing amidst a global pandemic.
As we approached a new school year, continue to face unmet need for supplies and operation, and existing federal grants and loans ended, this fourth NAFCC survey was designed to learn more about family child care providers specific needs. Family child care has been put in the spotlight during this global pandemic while simultaneously having taken a hit as an industry. Despite the unique benefits that family child care brings to the table, it has steadily been in decline and COVID-19 threatens to accelerate this process.
Grants and Loans
Though the CARES Act, the PPP, and other grants and loans available to providers were temporarily beneficial, they are not necessarily long-term solutions. A majority of providers indicated that they were awarded at least one grant or loan to help support their programs, not enough information was collected to know how much money providers were awarded. The temporary nature of the financial resources available is not enough to sustain providers’ programs through a long-lasting pandemic.
School Age Children
Although a majority of providers indicated that their state regulations would allow them to enroll school-aged children in some capacity, it was discovered that many providers have reservations about increasing their enrollment for school aged children. Just because a provider can enroll more school-aged children doesn’t necessarily mean providers will increase enrollment.
When asked if in alignment with their local school system’s reopening plan they were able to enroll school-aged children in their family child care program, three-quarters of respondents said that their current state child care regulations allow them to enroll aged school children, while only 7% of respondents said their state did not allow them to enroll school-aged children, but 18% were unsure if their state allowed them to.
The survey found that the biggest obstacles family child care providers face in being able to provide care to school aged children are:
1.Health and safety concerns
2.Being able to secure needed resources for school aged children (such as furniture, internet, computers, and other equipment needed to assist in virtual learning) 3.State legislation/child care regulations
Supplied for Operations
The survey revealed that many providers are still finding it difficult to attain necessary supplies, particularly cleaning supplies, that allow them to operate their programs safely. A small group of providers revealed that their state was helping provide necessary supplies which leaves a majority of providers and their programs to secure their own resources that are out of reach.
Urgent Action Needed: $50 Billion For Child Care
Many family child care providers and their programs are struggling during this pandemic. The permanent impact this virus will have on families and on child care may not be currently clear, but it is obvious that providers need immediate federal funding put in place to stabilize their programs.
Family child care providers are essential workers, but they currently aren’t being provided with the same resources that other essential workers are being given. If long-term financial solutions for family child care providers cannot be found or created quickly, the nation risks losing many providers who may have to shut their doors for good.
NAFCC urges Congress to immediately approve $50 billion in relief funds for the child care industry. Waiting, or choosing not to make this investment, is not an option as what we wait or fail to do, our nation and our children will pay for later.
 The survey opened on August 14, 2020 and closed on August 23, 2020. There were 1,088 responses collected in English (85%) and 194 responses collected in Spanish (15%) for a total of 1,282 responses collected.