ATLANTA - How we live and work today is different than how we did it a week ago. So how we manage childcare has changed, too. I’m trying to make sure I talk about your biggest questions – the things that keep you up at night right now. And childcare and what it’s costing you while not using it is a big one.
I talked with the CEO of the Georgia Childcare Association. She explains why your childcare provider is still billing you. Listen with an open mind.
“Childcare services aren’t being greedy when they ask you to pay this tuition. Childcare is a very thin margin business much like grocery stores,” Ellen Reynolds told me.
With more than 400 licensing regulations, running a center is very expensive.
“Most childcare facilities, because it’s such a thin profit margin, don’t have several months of reserves in the bank. At most, they have enough to get them through four weeks. “
Your monthly fee today is to help the center re-open when this pandemic subsides.
The CEO of the state’s childcare association added, “They are helping us to pay teachers so we can stay open after this crisis is over. And so far, childcare centers have been on their own. There is no insurance that covers this."
Yep, you read that right. Their insurance won’t cover COVID-19 closures.
“The business insurance that most responsible childcare owners have does not cover pandemics.”
Additionally, your monthly payment is holding your spot for when we can return to brick and mortar buildings.
“If we don’t have the tuition to keep those childcare centers open, you will see up to 50 percent of those childcare centers close. And there won’t be a spot for your children, and if there is, it’ll be really expensive because of the scarcity of centers,” Reynolds told me in a Zoom interview.
Even those many big, brand name childcare centers are independently owned, so they are not under a big cash umbrella.
And remember, their costs aren’t the same either. They’re looking for hand sanitizers and toilet paper, too.
If you have lost your job or have decreased income, don’t just stop payment. Reach out. Tell them. Even a partial payment can save your spot and save the center.