Survey finds 85% of Ala. child care facilities now open

Survey finds 85% of Ala. child care facilities now open
A new survey by the Alabama Department of Human Resources Child Care Division shows that more child care facilities have reopened. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - A new survey by the Alabama Department of Human Resources Child Care Division shows that more child care facilities have reopened.

The mid-October survey found that 85% are now open, an increase from 76 percent one month ago and up from 12 percent at the height of closures in March.

It also found that children are not yet fully returning to child care. According to Alabama DHR, in October, facilities were operating at 66% enrollment capacity, down from the pre-pandemic number of 88% enrollment capacity in January. This translates to about 22 percent of children not returning to child care since before the pandemic began.

“We continue to support Alabama’s child care providers in their efforts to reopen. This month’s numbers show that we are certainly on the right track in those efforts. The providers that have been able to reopen are providing a much-needed service to the people of Alabama," said Alabama DHR Commissioner Nancy Buckner. "As the survey reveals; however, not all children have returned to their child care providers. We will continue to work hard to make sure that providers are ready when the children do return.”

DHR says out of the facilities that are still closed, an additional 19 responded that they plan to reopen before the end of the year. Another 40 of the closed facilities stated they are providing some services virtually.

The October survey included all 2,381 child care providers across the state. Providers who did not answer the phone when contacted were considered closed.

Locations of open child care facilities can be found on the state DHR website.

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