Fragile early childhood education system at greater risk

Gary Parker, director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute at the Brown School; and Atia Thurman, associate director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute


Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, nationwide nearly two-thirds of child care providers have closed, leaving working parents struggling to find reliable care. Without additional public funding, over 4 million child care providers across the United States are at risk of permanently closing. One recent survey, by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, found that almost a third of child care providers could not survive more than two weeks of closure. Only 11% could survive a closure for an indefinite period of time.

In Missouri, almost half of the child care providers are at risk, threatening to increase the already high rate of children per child care slot from 3.15 to 6.06. Illinois faces a similar post-pandemic reality if action is not taken soon.

Read the full piece in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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