Sunday, September 26, 2021


New Yorkers voice concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional and state voting districts; and providers ask the Supreme Court to act on Texas' new abortion law.


The January 6th committee subpoenas former Trump officials; a Senate showdown looms over the debt ceiling; the CDC okays COVID boosters for seniors; and advocates testify about scams targeting the elderly.


A new Oklahoma museum honors tribal nations, while Iowa's history is back on the blacktop; mixed news on COVID-19 comes with a warning about unconventional drugs; and electric cars and buses are coming to rural America.

Report: Affordable Childcare Crisis Could Cost NC Billions


Monday, December 21, 2020   

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Fewer than 1 in 3 parents of young children has access to quality, affordable childcare during the pandemic, according to a new report. The survey of more than 800 North Carolina families found childcare is least accessible in rural counties and in Black, Brown and Indigenous communities.

Muffy Grant, executive director at the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, said before COVID-19, inadequate childcare cost businesses and taxpayers around $2.4 billion in lost revenue. That amount has already jumped to $2.9 billion, and Grant believes it's likely to skyrocket as the public health crisis continues.

"So, what we have here is a very strong economic case for investments in accessible, affordable, high-quality, flexible, culturally competent childcare," Grant said.

In the survey, 55% of households reported at least one adult having lost a job, been furloughed or having reduced pay or hours due to COVID-19. More than 70% have had difficulty finding a satisfactory childcare arrangement, and about 10% said they couldn't find one at all.

Dr. Sherika Hill teaches in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University and is a researcher at the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute. She said entire regions of North Carolina lack programs proven to boost children's early well-being.

"We have engineered a lot of different policy, through subsidies and for families to get vouchers or discounted care for high-quality childcare centers. But we haven't gone far enough to make sure that those centers are located in communities of diverse groups," Hill said.

Of those working parents surveyed, 25% predicted their child care will disappear as the pandemic continues, and 30% predicted care will be unaffordable. And as more parents turn to makeshift childcare arrangements in order to keep working, Hill said the long-term effects on child development remain unknown.

"When you're in a disruptive childcare setting, where you're having to rely on different and piecemeal childcare arrangements, we have no idea what are going to be just the long-term mental consequences of that, in terms of relational secure attachment, and even in brain structure and development," she said.

She added women of color more frequently report their childcare provider is no longer open, or they can't afford one because of reduced income. For rural families, only 15% are currently relying on formal childcare, down from 44% pre-pandemic.

Disclosure: North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Education, Livable Wages/Working Families, Women's Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The climate resilience package includes $1.5 billion for measures to better defend the state against wildfires. (Peter Buschmann/U.S. Forest Service)


SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Climate activists are praising Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing a $15 billion climate action package Thursday, but argued he …

Social Issues

BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Some New Yorkers are voicing concerns about the creation of not one, but two draft maps for congressional, State Senate and …

Social Issues

LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan advocates for children and families are praising many of the investments in the 2022 state budget passed this week…

According to the World Health Organization, about one in six people age 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

DES MOINES, Iowa -- There is strong public support in Iowa to enact a state law that criminalizes elder abuse, a topic also being discussed by law …


SALT LAKE CITY -- A researcher at the University of Utah said plans for generating renewable energy should include a power source right under our feet…

Roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants reside in the United States. (JP Photography/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

CHICAGO -- Advocates for immigrants and refugees in Illinois traveled to Washington, D.C., this week to push for a pathway to citizenship for up to …


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- Arkansas produces more rice than any other state, and a new grant will help farmers explore ways to transition the industry to …

Social Issues

BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota lawmakers in charge of redistricting have approved a preliminary draft of new legislative boundaries, but voters' …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021