The first stage of a study released by First 5 Orange County Children and Households Commission has found the fact that California county had a substantial shortage of child care even before the COVID-19 pandemic started.

The Orange County Day care Landscape Analysis , released upon Oct. 7, was put together from information collected among November 2019 and Feb 2020—but the report furthermore noted that the COVID-19 outbreak has had “severe impacts” in the county’s child care system, which includes closed programs and decreased capacities.

The particular analysis was conducted simply by NP Strategies on behalf of the particular commission, and looked at treatment options for children up to five years old. It reported that every available parents and caregivers for 60 percent from the young children in the county are usually in the workforce.

“With the high cost of living within Orange County, it really depends on all parents and caregivers working, ” said Rebecca Alvarez, principal and co-founder of NP Strategies, within a Zoom presentation with Very first 5 Orange County upon Oct. 7.

Licensed child care facilities have got space available for only 5% of children 2 years old plus younger, according to the analysis. At the same time, 70 percent of preschool-aged children from 3 to 4 years of age have licensed child care obtainable.

Other documented challenges include the need for all-day care for parents who function full-time, as well as child care accessibility during nontraditional hours, for example evenings, nights, weekends.

Some parents are already forced to switch from full-time to part-time work due to the lack of child care availability, mentioned Wallace Walrod, chief financial adviser at the Orange Region Business Council, who furthermore gave a presentation.

“Some are unable to acknowledge employment at all due to insufficient child care, ” Walrod stated.

Child care is definitely costly, according to the report. The standard price for child care for just one infant or toddler will be $15, 650 per year within Orange County. The average price for two children totals $26, 150 per year.

A family in the county using a median income would have to invest 26 percent of its spending budget on child care, while 10 % would be considered “affordable, ” the report stated.

While the families of over fifty percent of children who are 4 years of age and younger are eligible pertaining to state or federal backed child care programs, there’s insufficient funding to provide care for all those children.

“Six percent of eligible babies and toddlers are offered by subsidized programs, ” said Alvarez.

Other challenges include mothers and fathers arriving late to work or even leaving early due to day care issues, or missing out on special offers because of the additional hours that might be required.

Day care providers also face complications finding appropriate facilities to get infant and toddler treatment in Orange County, plus retaining quality employees continues to be an ongoing problem.

“Child care workers may live in poverty than various other workers and other educators, ” said Alvarez.

The reimbursement rates through subsidized programs often do not cover the costs of working a child care facility.

The COVID-19 outbreak has likely made details worse. Unemployment in Fruit County jumped from lower than 4 percent in 03 to more than 14 % in May, before falling in order to under 10 percent in Aug.

The survey stated that while it “did not know the full level of the pandemic’s impact on day care providers, ” it observed that “many are battling. ”

On the Oct. 7 Zoom conference, Orange County Supervisor Doug Chaffee, who is also an Initial 5 commissioner, said he or she was partnering with Manager Andrew Do to provide several funding from the Coronavirus Help, Relief, and Economic Safety (CARES) Act for day care providers.

“We’re looking at a $5 mil amount to go out to day care providers to help them with the proper PPE and other things that are COVID-related. It’s very essential that we have sufficient child care as we open up the particular workforce, ” Chaffee mentioned.

The next phase from the child care analysis is now to analyze how these issues affect Orange colored County’s economy, workers, mothers and fathers, and caregivers, and how the particular county compares to the rest of the condition and nation.

The findings will be provided later this year, and suggestions will be issued to the commission rate at that time.