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Utah childcare centers struggling financially because of COVID-19

Apr 24, 2020, 5:04 PM
Utah childcare centers struggling...
Utah childcare centers are struggling with far fewer children to watch but plenty of employees to pay. Photo credit: Lit’l Scholars Learning Center

SALT LAKE CITY — Lit’l Scholars Learning Center in Salt Lake City’s Sugar House neighborhood is usually a busy place. But Associate Director Sabrina Gallegos says there’s been a change in recent weeks. They are one of the Utah childcare centers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We can take about 150 kids, and we have been averaging between 18 and 30 kids,” Gallegos said.

As parents lose jobs or work from home due to COVID-19, that has put childcare centers like Lit’l Scholars in a financial bind.

It’s unclear how many childcare centers in Utah are struggling financially right now. Gallegos says the company she works for has been applying for several federal loans and grants.

“I know that a couple of them that we had applied for, they had run out of money before it ever even got to us. We’re still waiting to hear back on the other ones,” Gallegos says.

In the meantime, teachers’s hours, have been cut.

“We even have some that haven’t been here for over a month just because we don’t need them, and it’s kinda hard to afford to pay them to come in when we’ve put everything on a spending hold,” Gallegos said.

Despite the spending cuts, the center has been cleaning the facility more often to keep teachers and children safe.

Gallegos says they are also keeping in touch with parents, as well as reminding the community, that they are still open during the COVID-19 pandemic.


How To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19Coronavirus

COVID-19 coronavirusis transmitted from person to person. It is a virus that is similar to the common cold and the flu. So, to prevent it from spreading:

  • Wash hands frequently and thoroughly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Keep children and those with compromised immune system away from someone who is coughing or sneezing (in this instance, at least six feet)
  • If there is an outbreak near you, practice social distancing (stay at home, instead of going to the movies, sports events, or other activities.)
  • Get a flu shot.

Local resources

KSL Coronavirus Q&A

Utah’s Coronavirus Information

UtahState Board of Education

Utah Hospital Association

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Utah Coronavirus Information Line – 1-800-456-7707

National Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Commonly asked questions, World Health Organization

Cases in the United States

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Utah childcare centers struggling financially because of COVID-19