Leaders of businesses and nonprofit organizations recently discussed the challenges employers are facing during COVID-19 when mental health concerns and the availability of childcare are increasingly important to their efforts to maintain a safe, healthy and productive workplace.
Bridget O’Brien, director of SuperKids Child Care & Learning Center in Summit, said the child care industry is facing a “one-two punch.” The first hit was COVID-19’s impact on their industry and the second is from the Murphy administration’s push for universal pre-kindergarten, which could cause a 40% loss of business for child care centers when preschoolers leave to for classrooms run by local boards of education.
“COVID is only the first punch,” O’Brien said. “Under the best conditions we operate with very small margins, we are labor intensive, and we have substantial fixed costs. Some studies estimate as many as 70% of child care centers in the nation could close without intervention.”
Also featured in this video clip below from the New Jersey Business Coalition’s virtual Town Hall are: Mary Pat Angelini board member of the New Jersey Association of Mental Health and Addiction Agencies; Paul Kieltyka, CEO of the Summit Area YMCA and board chairman of the NJ YMCA State Alliance; Greg Keresztury, COO of YMCA of the Pines, in Medford; and Natasha Hemmings, CEO of Girl Scouts Heart of New Jersey.
The Oct. 22 town hall-style via video conference was hosted by NJBIA President & CEO Michele Siekerka and organized by the New Jersey Business Coalition, which includes business organizations and nonprofits from all over New Jersey. Members of the news media and legislators were also on the call.
Go here to watch the recording or click on the video link below.