1 in 3 working families are struggling to find child care

Children sitting on floor in front of a teacher stock photo.
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By , Audacy

As the U.S. works to pull out of the COVID-19 pandemic, adults from one in three families with young children are finding it difficult to find childcare needed for them to return to in-person work.

A new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that 34 percent of families with young children face serious problems finding childcare. It also found that 44 percent of households with children under age 18 have been facing serious financial problems.

These issues are even more prevalent for Black families, with 63 percent facing serious financial problems and for Latino families, with 59 percent facing serious financial problems.

Joe Lopez, a father of three living in Sacramento, Calif., pays $1,000 a month to send his youngest to day care, according to NPR. Even with this hefty price tag, Lopez still doesn’t have a guarantee that the center will be open.

“I wake up, log in to my computer to start work from home and then I randomly get a text from the day care that they're shut down for two or three days,” Lopez said.

Due to the pandemic, many childcare facilities either shut down or had to reduce enrollment sizes. While lockdown precautions that closed schools and limited the amount of people who could be together indoors have mostly lifted, centers are no