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Coronavirus In Ohio: Study Finds Lack Of Child Care Is Hurting Businesses

Magda Ehlers

A new report from a group of business leaders shows many Ohio companies cannot get back on their feet because their employees no longer have affordable daycare options.

Thenew reportby ReadyNation shows $57 billion in lost earnings nationally in productivity and revenue because of the lack of daycare. 

"That suggests that the lack of reliable child care for working parents of young children, up to age 3, could come to $1.7 billion in annual costs for Ohio," the report reads.

Lima/Allen County Chamber of Commerce CEO Jed Metzger says businesses in his area of the state are telling him they can’t rebound from the pandemic because too many of their employees lost childcare.

"We used to have daycares that could serve 90 people, and now there’s 45. There’s a waiting list of up to a year to even get in," Metzger says.

Child care facilities were allowed to reopen on May 31, but the state put limits on the total number of kids allowed.

To solve the problem, business leaders want Congress and the state to help Ohio recover funds for child care that have been lost during the pandemic.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services says that employees who are unable to find child care will no longer be eligible for unemployment benefits if they refuse an offer to work.

Last month, Gov. Mike DeWine issued an executive order allowing those benefits to continue for people who can't telework and are in a high-risk category, have evidence of a health or safety violation by their employer, or have to quarantine or care for a family member with COVID-19.

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment.