NewsCoronavirus COVID-19 Economic Impact

Actions

Day care providers concerned about potential closures and long-term impact

Posted at 4:39 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 00:12:02-04

INDIANAPOLIS —The coronavirus is prompting some states, like Kentucky, to order all day cares to close.

That hasn’t happened in Indiana yet, but many child care providers in our state are worried if their businesses will be able to stay afloat.

Jama Carson runs Little Squirts, a home day care near 71st and Binford, and has been doing so for nearly 30 years.

"I love my job,” Carson said. “I started this so I could stay home with my own."

When RTV6 stopped by Tuesday, she had only one child inside but she normally has 12 children.

Amid COVID-19 concerns, many parents are pulling their kids out because they’re not working right now or are working from home.

"I have pretty awesome parents and they're still willing to pay me partially,” Carson said. “So that is going to help me tremendously. I'm really nervous and I don't know if people are going to want to pay me if it lasts that long."

Carson is worried about being able to keep her doors open — a government order to shut down and the impact on the workforce could both be devastating.

"I have two girls who work for me,” Carson said. “I need to partially pay them. What are they going to do?"

Carson gets texts daily from the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration updating her on the situation, including encouraging good cleaning and hygiene practices.

FSSA also issued guidance Tuesday to providers saying child care should remain open and accept children unless a positive case of COVID-19 has been identified within the child care.

FSSA also announced child care providers could receive temporary grants to impacted providers to help keep their doors open.

Carson is taking extra precautions including sanitizing and greeting parents only at the door.

RELATED | What the state is now telling working parents and child care providers