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COVID-19 Coverage

Arizona Edition: Child Care in the Time of Covid-19

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ANNELISE CAPOSSELA FOR NPR
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This year the Arizona Early Childhood Alliance released data indicating a third of the state-licensed childcare centers have been forced to close because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"We have an industry on the brink of collapse," - Nicole Newhouse, Chief Executive Officer at the Association for Supportive Child Care (ASCC).

The centers still in operation are at 38-percent capacity, according to Nicole Newhouse, Chief Executive Officer at the Association for Supportive Child Care (ASCC).

The ASCC is a decades-old non-profit that provides guidance, training, and support for formal and informal childcare providers. 

"We were formed at a time when women were just getting into the workforce. At that time there were no childcare centers at all," said Newhouse. " The organization was formed around the idea of not only identifying childcare for working moms but also improve the quality of that." 

Newhouse says finding affordable, accessible, quality childcare were top concerns for families before the COVID-19 pandemic that have only become more of a challenge.  

"We started seeing a pivot to more and more and more providers having more children in their care in the informal setting early in the pandemic," she said. "Parents presumably were pulling their children from licensed settings because they were concerned about health and safety."

 

In this episode of Arizona Edition, KAWC's Lou Gum talks with Newhouse about how closing childcare centers and an increase of informal care options will shape views on childcare beyond the pandemic. 

Lou grew up in Tucson and has a long family history in the state of Arizona. He began his public radio career in 1988 at KNAU in Flagstaff as a classical music DJ and has been hooked on public radio since, transitioning to news after trying his hand at several other careers in publishing and commercial broadcasting. Lou has a degree in American Studies from Arizona State University and was KAWC's Morning Edition host for two and half years before becoming News and Operations Director.
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