In two days, many early childhood facilities are facing the end of pandemic-era funding, which may require them to close. In South Carolina the estimate is that 600 childcare centers will have to close meaning 50,000 children will be without care. Even before the pandemic, there was a national shortage for childcare workers. Since the pandemic, those shortages have become even more pronounced. When the federal program that allowed child care centers to continue to provide a critical service ends this week, we will all see how crucial and critical this child care shortage is.
Even as I read this, we are nearing the age where we are seeking childcare for our newest addition. I wonder as I look at her what the world will look like just two years from now. With this shortage on top of a potential government shut down on top of a shortages of amoxicillin and three major respiratory threats, she is facing a world that none of our other children have encountered. Thankfully, she doesn’t know all of this quite yet.
It is easy to look at everything and wonder what the world will look like in a week, a month, or even a year. It would be easy to say that there is no hope and that things are falling apart. Maybe that is partially true. Maybe the world as we knew it is falling apart. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing because it invites us to look at where we are now and who we are now and create something different. Perhaps these crises are inviting us to value each other and create community where we help each other rather than compete against each other. Maybe when we don’t know what tomorrow holds, we are able to grateful today and be here now in this moment.