Pandemic Provider Interview Series

It’s no surprise that the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted industries, economies, and individuals across the globe. To learn more about the impact the pandemic has had on child care providers in California, our research team interviewed one Tribal center and eight family child care homes across the state. The Tribal center, despite losing funding from the casino, quickly adapted to maintain their role as a community hub, safely providing resources and services to families. The family child care providers experienced the unique struggle, since their business is run out of their own home, of trying to keep their own families safe while maintaining their income. A few providers decided to close indefinitely because they were so worried about their daycare children becoming infected in their program, one closed because they lost all of their enrollment, and another decided not to take any new families to protect a vulnerable family member. For those who stayed open, their costs of food, cleaning supplies, and internet drastically increased, and many had to suddenly adjust to serving school-aged children all day and helping with distance learning. Providers who were near the 2020 wildfires had to make the difficult decision every day around balancing the health risks of COVID-19 inside, with the health risks of the poor air quality outside.

Despite these difficulties, all the providers described tremendous amounts of resilience and positivity; some providers who closed even used the opportunity to enroll in training programs or go back to school for ECE credits. They found support in their local resource and referral agency, public and private grants that helped them stay afloat, communities of fellow providers, and personal mental health practices. The vaccine also helped providers feel safer and more confident in keeping their business open while keeping themselves and their own families safe. A common thread among all the providers was how much they love and care about the children, and how hard they work to keep them happy, healthy, and safe.

Interviews

Adjusting to distance learning in Alameda County

In this episode, a large family child care provider in Alameda County discusses the numerous challenges related to staying open during the pandemic, including adjusting to distance learning for school-age children with the help of her own adult children.

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San Diego military provider takes ECE classes and participates in coaching program

In episode 3, we talk to a military family child care provider in San Diego County who tries to stay positive during the pandemic, despite losing all of her enrollment, by using it as an opportunity to pursue more child development courses and a training program, and finds much-needed financial support from various grants and assistance programs.

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Tribal center in Colusa acts as community hub even w lost funding

In this episode, a Tribal center in Colusa County describes how they continue to safely act as a resource hub for their community, despite losing all of their funding from the casino.

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Supporting families in San Diego so they can keep working during the pandemic

In episode 1 we talk to a large family child care provider in San Diego County who made the difficult decision to stay open during the pandemic to support the families in her care, despite health risks to her own family, and finds solace from the stress in various self-care practices.

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