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Essential care workers need child-care aid

August 09, 2020 | online article

If education resumes as virtual-only or “hybrid” in some locations, Republicans and Democrats need to factor in the essential workers with children who will not be allowed to return to school buildings next month.

My staff at the Community Options nonprofit and I manage over 5,000 essential direct care staff, providing care to the most vulnerable Americans. With well over 4.5 million people with disabilities living in small homes, courageous direct-support professionals provide care around the clock while earning an average of less than $14 per hour.  

If the governor declares that school buildings will remain closed until Thanksgiving, how will the direct-care workers afford to pay for child care or oversight? It will be next to impossible. The domino effect could be catastrophic.  

The Murphy administration needs to look at augmented wages for direct care staff during the pandemic shutdown. These workers need financial relief to survive.