I have been out of family child care for almost two years. But I am still working in the field as an educator. Child care is very near and dear to my heart. I've spent half of my life dedicated to the profession and it hurts me to see so many people suffering right now.
Just for some perspective. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, 25% of child care programs in Oklahoma have closed their doors and do not plan to re-open. We already did not have enough child care spots to fill the need and this will make that crisis even worse.
Child care providers were asked by DHS and the governor to stay open to provide care for families of essential workers and then given lots of new guidelines and regulations to follow in order to do so. However, they have struggled to get the supplies needed to follow this new protocol and have not been able to receive any help from the state, despite asking many times.
As a general rule, child care providers do not get the respect they deserve. Many of them are highly educated individuals who are called to work with young children despite the low pay and lack of respect. These people are spending your child's most formative years with them and they deserve much more than they get (both financially and emotionally).
I write all this today to ask you to reach out to your state representatives and the governor and DHS anyone else you can think of and ask them to support child care. Without quality child care, all of us suffer.