News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
News

Unmet demand for after-school child care in Dallas is at an all-time high

The pandemic shuttered day-care centers, after-school programs and camps this year, creating problems for some parents who put aside wages, pre-tax, to pay for those expenses.
The pandemic shuttered day-care centers, after-school programs and camps this year, creating problems for some parents who put aside wages, pre-tax, to pay for those expenses.

Providers in Dallas say barriers to accessing after-school child care have gone up since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For every child enrolled in an after-school program in Dallas, three are waiting to get in. That's according to a recent report from the nonprofit Dallas Afterschool.

CEO Christina Hanger told the Dallas City Council's Workforce, Education and Equity Committee that the pandemic has worsened access.

“At the beginning of COVID, immediately 30% of the after-school sites closed, and we had a greater loss of seats because of social distancing, because we had to have more adults per children," she said. "Those social distancing protocols are starting to be lessened a little bit, capacity is coming back online, but we've only regained half of it."

Hanger says the price of care is another barrier. Dallas Afterschool found families pay $120 a week on average, compared to $82 statewide.

"The cost in Dallas is way higher than the average in Texas, it's higher than the average national, it's higher than large cities like Atlanta and Los Angeles," Hanger said.

Dallas Afterschool also found Black families are paying more per week for child care than other demographic groups in the city.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gift today. Thank you.

Got a tip? Email Galilee Abdullah at Gabdullah@KERA.org.