冠状病毒威胁将儿童保育行业推向边缘

2020-10-18 08:07

Coronavirus Threatens to Push the Child-Care Industry Over the Edge XKq世界播

冠状病毒威胁将儿童保育行业推向边缘XKq世界播


The coronavirus pandemic has plunged U.S. day cares into a financial crisis. XKq世界播

冠状病毒大流行使美国日托中心陷入金融危机。XKq世界播


Child-care centers across the country—big chains, tiny in-home operations, nonprofits—are teetering. Enrollment slumped in the spring and never fully recovered. Extra expenses, like protective gear and deep cleaning, are piling up. By some estimates, some 40% of U.S. day cares are closed. Many of those that are open have half the number of children they did in February, or less. XKq世界播

全国各地的托儿中心-大型连锁店、小型家庭运营机构和非营利性组织-都摇摇欲坠。入学人数在春季大幅下降,从未完全恢复。额外的费用,如防护装备和深度清洁,正在堆积如山。据估计,美国约40%的日托中心关闭。许多开放的学校的孩子数量是2月份的一半,甚至更少。XKq世界播


Lawmakers and economists are warning that many child-care providers will fail without government help. If that happens, parents who struggled to find a day-care slot before the pandemic would have to compete for even fewer spaces when it is over. Already, the pandemic is forcing many mothers out of the workforce, a decision likely to hurt their career prospects for years. And if parents can’t work, the economy can’t flourish. XKq世界播

立法者和经济学家警告说,如果没有政府的帮助,许多托儿机构将会倒闭。如果发生这种情况,在大流行之前努力寻找日托名额的父母将不得不在疫情结束后争夺更少的名额。大流行已经迫使许多母亲退出劳动力大军,这一决定可能会损害她们多年的职业前景。如果父母不能工作,经济就不能繁荣。XKq世界播


“If the virus magically disappeared, could we go back to where we were in January? We couldn’t if there’s no child care,” said Elizabeth Davis, an economist at the University of Minnesota. XKq世界播

“如果病毒神奇地消失了,我们能回到1月份的状态吗?明尼苏达大学的经济学家伊丽莎白·戴维斯(Elizabeth Davis)说:“如果没有托儿服务,我们就不能这么做。”XKq世界播


Even in good times, the U.S. child-care industry operates on slim margins. Children come and go, which means revenue is unstable. The businesses have little in the way of collateral. Banks are rarely interested in lending to them, beyond costly credit cards, making it difficult to ride out rough patches. XKq世界播

即使在景气时期,美国托儿行业的利润率也很低。孩子们来来去去,这意味着收入不稳定。这些企业几乎没有抵押品。银行除了昂贵的信用卡外,很少有兴趣借钱给他们,这使得他们很难安然度过难关。XKq世界播


Yet their fixed costs are high. They can’t automate jobs or cut their real estate costs by operating remotely. The result is a mismatch, where worker pay is low—a median of $11.65 per hour, according to the Labor Department— but costs for parents are steep. Day care for a single child can easily cost $10,000 a year, and double or more in big cities. XKq世界播

然而,他们的固定成本很高。他们不能通过远程操作来实现工作自动化或降低房地产成本。结果是不匹配,工人工资很低-根据劳工部的数据,中位数为每小时11.65美元-但父母的成本很高。一个孩子的日托费用很容易达到每年1万美元,在大城市是两倍甚至更多。XKq世界播


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A child gets a temperature check earlier this month at Little Believer’s Academy. XKq世界播

本月早些时候,一名儿童在小贝利弗学院接受体温测试XKq世界播


“Most are so tight on the budget that if you lose one or two children, then you’re seriously in danger here,” said Linda Smith, director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative. XKq世界播

两党政策中心早期儿童倡议主任琳达·史密斯(Linda Smith)表示:“大多数人的预算都非常紧张,如果你失去了一两个孩子,那么你在这里就会处于严重的危险之中。”XKq世界播


Seven months into the pandemic, the government loans and grants meant to keep day cares afloat are running out. Congressional Democrats recently released a report calling for more aid for the industry. But lawmakers remain at an impasse on the latest round of stimulus. Day-care operators, meanwhile, are bracing for winter, which threatens to bring a new surge in coronavirus infections that could keep children home. XKq世界播

疫情爆发七个月后,旨在维持日间托儿所运转的政府贷款和赠款即将耗尽。国会民主党人最近发布了一份报告,呼吁为该行业提供更多援助。但议员们在最新一轮刺激计划上仍僵持不下。与此同时,日托运营商正在为冬天做准备,冬天有可能带来新的冠状病毒感染激增,可能会让孩子们呆在家里。XKq世界播


Cassandra Brooks, who runs Little Believer’s Academy in the Raleigh, N.C., suburbs, has been researching financing options for her two-location day care. Mrs. Brooks was shaken when two of her friends, Keisha Sanders and Deanna Randle, closed their day cares. XKq世界播

卡桑德拉·布鲁克斯(Cassandra Brooks)在北卡罗来纳州罗利市郊区经营着小伯利弗学院(Little Believer‘s Academy),她一直在为她的两个地点的日托机构研究融资方案。当她的两个朋友凯莎·桑德斯(Keisha Sanders)和迪安娜·兰德尔(Deanna Randle)关闭日托中心时,布鲁克斯夫人吓了一跳。XKq世界播


“On one side, maybe you can get the money and not have to pay it back for a longer period of time,” said Mrs. Brooks, who has a master’s degree in education. “But then on the other end, I keep thinking, ‘OK, Cassandra, it’s probably not good to get these loans if your business is not going to bounce back.’” XKq世界播

拥有教育学硕士学位的布鲁克斯夫人说:“一方面,也许你可以拿到钱,而不必在更长一段时间内还款。”“但另一方面,我一直在想,‘好吧,卡桑德拉,如果你的业务不打算反弹,那么获得这些贷款可能不是件好事。’”XKq世界播


Her program has about 40 children, down from the usual 90. Some have been in and out of homeless shelters with their parents, and Mrs. Brooks worries how they will fare if her day care closes. “I’ve got to put on a happy face,” she said, “even though it looks like we’re just headed for disaster.” XKq世界播

她的项目有大约40个孩子,低于通常的90个。有些人和父母一起进进出出无家可归者收容所,布鲁克斯夫人担心如果她的托儿所关闭了,他们会怎么样。“我必须摆出一副高兴的样子,”她说,“尽管看起来我们正走向灾难。”XKq世界播


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Cassandra Brooks’s day care has about 40 children, down from the usual 90. Mrs. Brooks isn’t sure how long she can stay open. XKq世界播

卡桑德拉·布鲁克斯(Cassandra Brooks)的日托中心有大约40个孩子,低于通常的90个。布鲁克斯太太不确定她还能开多久XKq世界播


In a June survey by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, more than 80% of child-care providers said they expected to permanently shut down within a year if they lost 20% or more of their enrollment. Day-care providers’ revenue plunged 35% from the first quarter to the second quarter, according to census data. XKq世界播

在全美幼儿教育协会(National Association For The Education Of Young Children)6月份的一项调查中,超过80%的托儿机构表示,如果失去20%或更多的入学人数,他们预计将在一年内永久关闭。人口普查数据显示,从第一季度到第二季度,日托服务提供者的收入暴跌了35%。XKq世界播


Some day cares are still full, often because they have scooped up children from nearby competitors that went under. But many owners, especially those who run day cares from home, are taking on credit-card debt or forgoing their own salary to stay open. XKq世界播

一些日托中心仍然满员,通常是因为他们从附近倒闭的竞争对手那里接走了孩子。但许多业主,特别是那些在家里经营日间托儿所的人,要么背负着信用卡债务,要么放弃了自己的工资来继续营业。XKq世界播


Charlene Wiggins watched enrollment at her day care and after-school program collapse from 270 to 40 in March. “We held our breath,” said Mrs. Wiggins, who runs Creative World School in Apollo Beach, Fla. XKq世界播

查琳·威金斯(Charlene Wiggins)眼睁睁地看着她的日托和课后项目的注册人数在3月份从270人暴跌至40人。“我们屏住呼吸,”威金斯夫人说,她在佛罗里达州阿波罗海滩经营着创意世界学校。XKq世界播


Mrs. Wiggins pored over health guidelines to figure out how she could safely stay open. She plowed thousands of dollars into a tuneup for the air conditioning system, automatic soap dispensers and extra cleaning supplies. Dress-up clothes and stuffed animals had to go. XKq世界播

威金斯夫人仔细研究了健康指南,想知道如何才能安全地继续营业。她花了数千美元为空调系统、自动肥皂机和额外的清洁用品做了调整。盛装服装和毛绒动物玩具都必须淘汰。XKq世界播


In one way, Mrs. Wiggins is fortunate: Children have returned, and she now has a wait list. But her enrollment is only at about 140 because she has decided that keeping class sizes small is the safest way to operate. “I know when you’re running a business, you’re supposed to be financially minded,” she said. “But I’m 75% teacher-minded.” XKq世界播

在某种程度上,威金斯夫人是幸运的:孩子们已经回来了,她现在有一个等待名单。但她的注册人数只有140人左右,因为她已经决定,保持小班规模是最安全的运作方式。“我知道当你经营一家企业时,你应该有财务头脑,”她说。“但我有75%的教师意识。”XKq世界播


Her bank has paused her $22,000 monthly mortgage payment until January. She isn’t sure how long she can make it after that. XKq世界播

她的银行已经暂停了她每月22,000美元的抵押贷款还款,直到1月份。她不确定在那之后她还能坚持多久。XKq世界播


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Little Believer’s Academy teacher Charlene Brooks (no relation to Cassandra Brooks) walks toddlers back inside after spending time on the playground. XKq世界播

小Believer学院的老师Charlene Brooks(与Cassandra Brooks没有亲戚关系)在操场上度过了一段时间后,带着蹒跚学步的孩子回到里面XKq世界播


U.S. day cares lack the public resources the K-12 system receives. While day cares can get government subsidies for caring for low-income children, that money is typically tied to the attendance of specific children, which means it can fluctuate. Charitable donations are often tied to specific uses, not for funding daily operations. XKq世界播

美国日托中心缺乏K-12系统获得的公共资源。虽然托儿所可以获得政府补贴来照顾低收入儿童,但这笔钱通常与特定儿童的出勤率挂钩,这意味着它可能会波动。慈善捐款通常与特定用途有关,而不是用于日常运作。XKq世界播


Some parents have pulled their children out of day care because they lost their jobs. Others are scared their children will get sick. Only 30% of parents with children under age 5 have sought child care during the pandemic, according to an August survey by the Bipartisan Policy Center. More than half said they were uncomfortable sending their children to a day-care center. XKq世界播

一些父母把他们的孩子从日托中心拉出来,因为他们失去了工作。其他人则担心他们的孩子会生病。根据两党政策中心8月份的一项调查,在大流行期间,孩子在5岁以下的父母中只有30%的人寻求过儿童护理。超过一半的人说,他们对把孩子送到日托中心感到不舒服。XKq世界播


Ms. Sanders, the director of operations at Raleigh Nursery School, is agonizing over whether or when to reopen. The nonprofit has been closed since March, and Ms. Sanders worries about putting teachers and children at risk. In the meantime, the center is eating into its savings to pay for fire and security systems, liability insurance and other fixed monthly expenses. And even if it reopens, Ms. Sanders isn’t sure it will work. XKq世界播

桑德斯是罗利幼儿园(Raleigh Nursery School)的运营总监,她正在为是否或何时重新开学而苦苦挣扎。这家非营利性组织自3月份以来一直关闭,桑德斯担心会将教师和儿童置于危险之中。与此同时,该中心正在消耗其储蓄,以支付消防和安全系统、责任保险和其他固定的每月费用。即使它重新开放,桑德斯也不确定它是否会奏效。XKq世界播


“People have bailed out all types of industries,” Ms. Sanders said. “Why not the industry that keeps all the others working?” XKq世界播

“人们拯救了所有类型的行业,”桑德斯说。“为什么不是让其他所有人都在运转的行业呢?”XKq世界播


A few miles away in Garner, N.C., Ms. Randle worked hard to keep King’s Kids Early Education and Learning Center open for much of the pandemic. Enrollment fell, so staffers cut back on their hours to help the center trim expenses. XKq世界播

在几英里外的北卡罗来纳州加纳,兰德尔女士努力工作,使国王儿童早期教育和学习中心(King‘s Kids Early Education and Learning Center)在疫情爆发的大部分时间里一直开放。注册人数下降,因此工作人员减少了工作时间,以帮助中心削减开支。XKq世界播


Then, the church where she had been renting space for eight years declined to renew her lease after June. Ms. Randle has worked as a schoolteacher or in child-care since college, but she isn’t sure she wants to reopen in a new location. XKq世界播

然后,她租了八年空间的教堂在6月份之后拒绝续租。兰德尔从大学开始就在学校当老师或在托儿所工作,但她不确定自己是否想在新的地方重新开张。XKq世界播


She recently took an online class to learn about selling life insurance. XKq世界播

她最近参加了一个在线课程,学习如何销售人寿保险。XKq世界播


“It makes me sad to even talk about it,” Ms. Randle said. “I was doing what I loved.” XKq世界播

“谈论这件事都让我很难过,”兰德尔说。“我在做我喜欢做的事。”XKq世界播


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Mari Mbye, a Little Believer’s Academy teacher, watches over a group of toddlers on the playground. XKq世界播

小信徒学校的老师玛丽·姆拜在操场上照看着一群蹒跚学步的孩子XKq世界播

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