When COVID hit in March, many parents withdrew their young children from child care centers, forcing more than 60 to close their doors for good while others struggle to stay open.

“I’m still down to three kids and it’s difficult. It’s very difficult,” Dorothelia Barnett said. “You know, I’ve got bills to pay. I have a mortgage to pay.”

Barnett has operated Tott’s Inn Daycare & Learning Center in East Hartford for 21 years and she’s never had trouble filling her six slots until now. She said some of the parents were in the hospitality business, which was dramatically impacted by the pandemic.

Read Christine Stuart’s full report at NBC Connecticut