Pa. child care providers express concerns over the state of their industry

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"We've projected that 4% of providers will permanently close, but up to 1,000 are at high risk of closure,” Sirinides said. 

Gene Barr with the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business Industry said child care has a ripple effect on the workforce, taxes and revenue.

"One of the things that becomes abundantly clear from developing our workforce is that there are barriers to that workforce,” Barr said. 

Latonta Godboldt, owner of Small Wonders Child Care in Philadelphia, points out that with remote learning, many people who previously did not need child care are now in need of it.

But many can’t afford to pay for it. 

"There's a complete lack of balance between paying what we deserve as a field and the services we render,” Godboldt said. 

Barr said one of the solutions some businesses are considering is providing child care on site as part of an employee benefit package, but that doesn't address every workforce issue. 

"It's one thing to set up your child care operations to operate from 7 to 5 or 7 to 6. What do you do for the 3 to 11 worker? What do you do for the 11 to 7 worker? What do you do for these people working shift work?” Barr said. 

He also hopes employers start to see child care as an essential employee benefit.