MONTGOMERY – More Alabama child care facilities are now open than at any time since March. According to a study of child care facilities conducted by the Alabama Department of Human Resources in early September, 76 percent of all child care facilities in Alabama are open. That is an increase from 63 percent open in late July. Those numbers are considerably higher than the 12 percent of facilities that were open in March when businesses began shutting down due to the pandemic.
Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner said, “Alabama is well on our way to reopening the necessary number of child care facilities to enable parents to return to work and resume a more normal schedule. This is the sixth survey we have conducted and each one has shown tremendous growth in the numbers of open facilities. We have worked hard to encourage child care providers to open by providing support in the form of grants and supplies.”
DHR established a grant program in July to help stabilize open child care providers and to encourage other facilities to reopen. In total, the Temporary Assistance for Stabilizing Child Care (TASCC) grant program has provided $10,310,600 in financial aid to 834 child care providers across the state.
More good news from this survey is that more than 50 of the still closed child care facilities responded that they plan to open in the next two months. Another 40 of the closed facilities stated that, though they are closed, they are still providing some services virtually.
The September survey included 852 child care providers across the state. Providers who reported being open during prior DHR surveys did not participate. Those who did not answer the phone when contacted were considered closed.
Locations of open child care facilities can be found online at www.dhr.alabama.gov/child-care/.