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"We didn't survive": The surge in childcare costs forces providers to make difficult decisions.

Washington DC (CNN)Fees for many US child care providers to fight, from downtown to rural communities Inflation is raising, adding yet another tension for the family.

At the Kidz Stuff Child Care Center in Baltimore, food, rent, electricity and supplies costs are skyrocketing. CEO Angela Kidane has raised staff salaries by about 40% in a tough labor market, but is still struggling to hire teachers. This forced her to close at least one classroom, which could cost nonprofits as much as $ 150,000 a year.

"Operating costs are probably rising by at least 30-35%," Kidan told CNN. "What comes to my mind is how it affects our parents. We will have to pass on the costs."

This fall Kidane will raise the third tuition fee in 12 months — a total increase of 30%. For some families, full-time child care can cost thousands of dollars or more per year.

"It's not easy to have to do this, but it's necessary," Kidan said. "We couldn't survive. We didn't stay open."

Childcare programs across the country are raising prices for the same reason.

"It's happening everywhere," said Cindy Renhoff, director of the National Child Care Association. "The [program] has no alternative to keeping the door open. This is what must happen. And they hate doing it to their parents, they hate it.

Inflation is not the only issue

Inflation is only part of the problem. According to reports from, despite the Federal Relief Fund, which helped the program raise salaries, there are11.2% less childcare workers in the industry. Child Care Employment Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. As of last year, the median wages in the industry were just over $ 13 an hour, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
As of March 2021, according to asurvey, nearly 16,000 child care programs were completed during the pandemic. This is about 9% of the industry's licensed programs, which results in longer parental waiting lists and steeper tuition fees.

"I've heard from people all over the country that childcare costs aren't affordable, and I've heard from parents who are childcare workers that they don't earn a living wage," said Moms Rising Executive Director. Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner said.

"It is already estimated that 500,000 households in the United States are not raising children due to lack of access and affordability," she added. “With increasing pressure from inflation, more families are stuck without childcare.”

Demand for child care with the Covid-19 vaccine now available to children under the age of five. May increase further. % Of the last few months.

“Families can't wait to get their children back to childcare in a safe way,” said Alessandra Lezama, CEO of TOOTRiS. "The supply and demand problem was exacerbated by the fact that so many programs were forced to shut down during Covid."

'I don't want to charge my parents anymore. '

At Beach Baby's Child Care, with several branches in the Rehobos beach area of ​​Delaware, owner Sean Toner fights inflation and pays teachers about $ 14 per hour. This fall, we are raising tuition fees from 8% to 10% for the second consecutive year.

"We don't want to charge our parents any more for products that shouldn't cost too much," Toner said. "I don't want to be the one who drives my parents away."

Jessica Gebbia is a teacher at Beach Babies. Her 5-year-old son also goes there for day care.

"Most of my salary just takes him here," Gevia said. "Now there are gas prices, food prices, and everything is rising, so that's a rough idea."

But Gevia doesn't want to quit her job.

"I love what I do," she said. "These children need teachers who love what they do."

However, many mothers have left the workforce. This is part of the growth trend. As of May, 88% of women lost in the pandemic were women's jobs, according to the Ministry of Labor.

The Pandemic Relief Fund has helped stabilize childcare providers to some extent, but these funds will expire in the next two years. Proponents are concerned that the industry may head to the cliff, and federal investment in childcare to bridge the gap between the narrow margins of providers and rising costs to families. I am asking you to increase.

"The pandemic makes it nearly impossible for providers to continue, and the current market conditions make it even more difficult," said Michelle Kang, CEO of the National Early Childhood Education Association. .. "Without action to strengthen and strengthen supply, we are heading for a catastrophe. It will not give families a choice of care."

As childcare prices rise, Millions of families are facing difficult decisions.

To-Wen Tseng and her husband have struggled to raise $ 370 a week in San Diego since her employer cut her time in half. So she flew her children to Taiwan to live with her family during the summer in search of her second job.

"If you quit your job and stay at home and watch over your children, everything may be easier for your family," Zen said. "The reason we're still struggling to pay for this childcare is because I don't want to give up my career. I feel I should be an example for my children. I'm doing my best. "