HiMama conducted two surveys over the past two months on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on childcare centers (one in March, the second in April). These survey results include responses from over 500 centers across North America.
67% of childcare centers closed during COVID-19
In both our surveys conducted at the end of March and the end of April, 67% of centers who responded were closed.
Regionality and size of center impacted the percentage of closed centers:
- 80% of Canadian centers closed vs. 63% of American centers closed.
- 55% of home daycares closed, 65% of single location centers closed, and 75% of multi-location centers closed.
96% of centers who remained opened saw a decline in attendance
Of the centers who remained open, 96% had parents keeping the children at home as a precaution to the pandemic. On average, open centers experienced 69% of children staying home in March, and 70% of children staying home in April.
51% of closed centers are still paying their staff in full
In terms of paying their staff, there were big differences between open and closed centers.
Closed centers were more likely to be paying their staff in full with 51% of centers who responded stating that they are still paying their staff. Open centers were more likely to have reduced staff hours with 39% stating that they have done so.
Below is how participants replied to the question, “what are you doing for staff regarding salary?”
|I don’t know what I’m going to do||5%||9%||6%|
|I’m currently using their vacation/holidays||4%||1%||3%|
|I’ve had to lay off my staff||33%||24%||30%|
|I’ve reduced their hours||8%||39%||18%|
|Paying them in full||51%||27%||43%|
Many closed centers leveraged ‘remote learning’ to maintain positions for staff as they transitioned to working from home.
- “We are allowing main teachers to work from home with lesson planning and providing activities for families electronically.”
- “Working from home, connecting with families, sending activities, virtually reading books and singing songs to children.”
58% of closed centers are not collecting any tuition
In terms of tuition collection, only 6% of all respondents noted that they were collecting full tuition payments:
- 71% of closed centers are collecting nothing, 15% are collecting partial tuition, 11% are supported by the government, and 3% are collecting full tuition.
- 41% of open centers are collecting partial payments with only 13% collecting full tuition.
60% of centers currently offering remote learning
67% of closed centers and 45% of open centers are currently offering remote learning programming for their children. Remote learning has exploded within the early childhood education community with teachers and centers running virtual circle times, setting up at-home activities, running yoga sessions, and setting up virtual playdates to ensure learning is still happening.
12% of centers are not offering remote learning but are planning to, 12% of centers want to launch remote programming but don’t know how, and 17% of centers have no plans in offering remote learning.
‘Stress’ and ‘staff’ are the two biggest concerns for centers
When asked how they are holding up, the most popular mentioned word was ‘stress’ as both centers who are open and closed are facing a lot of uncertainty in terms of how to run their business.
The second most mentioned word was ‘staff’ as people shared how they were worried about maintaining their staff with few children in attendance, or being forced to close their businesses.
Words of hope and gratitude
🙏 A BIG THANK YOU to the childcare community. Working in the childcare community throughout this time has led me to personally be inspired daily by the passion, perseverance, creativity and hope that you bring to our youngest minds. Each and every one of you amazes me.
A follow up thank you to everyone who participated in this survey. This data helped shape the content that we curated, the product features we shipped and launched, and the at-home activities database we developed to support the childcare community in this time of crisis.
Through everything, the community has also been very supportive and encouraging. Here is a video collection of some of the words of hope that respondents shared in their surveys: