Dear U.S. Senators,
We cannot safely reopen schools unless everyone has access to paid leave. Full stop. Ensuring that working people have access to child care, paid sick days, and paid family and medical leave is essential for restarting our nation and our states’ economies. Paid leave keeps us in the jobs we need and ensures we’re able to care for ourselves or our loved ones and protect both our public and economic health. Studies show that paid sick days slow the spread of viruses. In fact, one study found a 40% lower transmission rate of influenzas in areas that had passed paid sick days. Further, childcare is an essential support for families, no matter the economic scenario, but is particularly crucial in this pandemic.
Comprehensive and permanent paid family and medical leave, as well as earned paid sick days, must be included in the next COVID-19 relief package.
Further, early educators are essential workers who are risking the health and safety of themselves and their families to care for our kids amid a pandemic so we can support our families. We can’t continue to put their lives on the line without ensuring they have access to paid leave. In addition to advancing paid leave, Congress must also invest $50 billion in a stabilization fund to keep the child care system afloat for child care can help prevent this crisis from becoming even worse for families.
The Senate must act quickly to support child care and extend and expand access to pandemic paid leave before school starts. Otherwise, there is no way schools, or anything else, will be able to safely reopen.