The road ahead looks rough for Georgia’s preschools and daycares.

Across the state, thousands of child-care workers have quit for jobs at Walmart and Target where they can earn better money and don’t have to worry about the stress of watching young kids.

With the COVID-19 pandemic making matters worse, many teachers and advocates have eyed Georgia’s hefty reserve of lottery dollars that can legally go toward raising child-care salaries – but haven’t been touched.

In this five-part story, State Affairs breaks down the numbers behind Georgia’s falling preschool and daycare employment and spoke with teachers, advocates and lawmakers to find out what – if anything – the state can do to reverse its downward child-care trends.

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