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Lexington early childcare teacher talks struggles within daycare industry

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 10:32 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - When the phased reopening of Kentucky started, childcare facilities were low on the list.

The difficulties of social distancing kids meant more time was needed for the state to come up with safe reopening guidelines.

It was a struggle for local daycares, and now, that they’ve been back open for several months, there are new struggles threatening the industry like the reduced capacity restriction and the increased need for PPE.

“They’re always right there on the edge of being able to pay their bills, always scrambling to find new families,” Lexington early childcare teacher Tricia Platt said.

With Kentucky schools operating virtually, many think the need for childcare facilities has grown. But, Platt said she’s actually seen the opposite effect.

“A lot of parents are keeping their younger kids at home because they’re having to school their kids at home,” Platt said.

There are no options for state funding specifically for existing childcare facilities, and Platt said she’s noticed worker morale is at an all-time low.

Platt worries about what will happen if those trends continue.

“It’s going to be devastating,” Platt said. “All the articles I’ve read and the information that I’ve heard talks about up to 60 percent of childcare will not be able to function, and that’s just to survive, that’s not going forward.”

We asked Gov. Andy Beshear if there would be future funding options targeted to existing childcare facilities, and he said a new round of CARES act money from the federal government would be helpful for that area as well as others.

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