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Frontline workers in the coronavirus need dependable child care | Opinion
Patriot-News - 4/6/2020
The current COVID-19 crisis is requiring unprecedented action by both the public and private sectors to not only support our front line workers leading the public health response, but also to support those employees that continue to provide essential, often behind the scenes, services to our communities.
We at Sheetz are pleased to be doing our part by offering additional compensation as an effort to further support our more than 17,000 frontline employees who are working tirelessly through the COVID-19 crisis. We know that our employees, and their families, are the heart and soul of our business.
with essential workers. Today, according to a new survey, roughly 80 percent of all childcare providers in Pennsylvania are closed – impacting an estimated 305,000 children. This leaves essential workers in a pinch.
Finding and affording quality child care was a problem prior to this current crisis - often serving as a barrier to employment for many potential workers. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently estimated the economic cost of insufficient child care in Pennsylvania to be $3.5 billion annually.
The economic shutdown is exposing the fragility of the child care system. According to the aforementioned survey, nearly one-third of child care providers indicated that they will go out of business if this shutdown lasts for more than a month. This begs an important question, “How will Pennsylvania families go back to work when businesses reopen if child care providers do not?”
As Pennsylvania’s policymakers consider immediate economic stimulus options for the Commonwealth, efforts to stabilize child care providers must be a priority. Our immediate response to the COVID-19 crisis and our economic recovery depends on working families and working families depend on child care.
Stephanie Doliveira is vice president of Human Resources, Sheetz, Inc. and co-chair, Pennsylvania Early Learning Investment Commission.
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