The Conversation: Providing Child Care During the Pandemic

Apr 6, 2021

Three early education providers and advocates joined The Conversation on Tuesday to discuss child care during the pandemic and answer call-in questions from the community.

Our panelists touched on the struggles of providing and finding child care, the economic situation, safety measures and more. 

Kathleen Algire is the director of early education and health policy at Hawai‘i Children’s Action Network, a nonprofit which advocates for health, safety and the education of Hawai‘i's children. HCAN surveyed families this past year to find out how child care needs are being met and how they have changed.

Shanna De Lima-Suganuma is the East Hawai‘i Island Coordinator at PATCH, which stands for People Attentive to Children. PATCH helps families connect to child care providers and supports the development of early education. She said most child care providers on the island of Hawai‘i have since reopened.

Megan McCorriston is the CEO of Seagull Schools, a network of preschools on O‘ahu. Seagull Schools was one of the first preschools to close in March 2020, and one of the first to reopen about eight weeks later in May. Now, many students are back in the classroom or plan to be back soon.

According to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services, 93% of child care providers have reopened since the pandemic began, and 5% have closed permanently.

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