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.