Dear Member of Congress:
The United States is creeping toward a fiscal cliff, which, left untended, will carry major economic consequences for our families and our nation.
Congress took the bold and necessary steps to invest critical funds to stabilize the child care market which saved our system from total collapse during the height of the pandemic. But those funds expire this month - and without continued investment, child care providers, families, and our economy are headed toward a giant cliff.
All told, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) stabilization dollars that saved the child care sector from collapse are expiring with projections that 3.2 million children could lose their child care as a result!
This is why we are urging you to support and pass the Child Care Stabilization Act to provide at least $16 billion per year in emergency child care dollars to address this impending crisis, while laying the groundwork for the sustained and transformative funding needed to ensure high-quality, affordable child care is accessible for all families.
The U.S. budget is a reflection of the country’s priorities and values, and actually investing in American families and our economy looks like appropriating:
- $8.7 billion (a $700 million increase over FY2023) investment in the Child Care Development Block Grant. At least $12.2 billion for Head Start, which matches the Senate’s proposed funding levels. A proposed cut in the House version of the bill would remove 80,000 kids’ access to this critical program.
- $7.3 billion (or whatever amount is required) to fully fund WIC, serve the projected caseload, and prevent waitlists or cuts to the program.
- Necessary investments in maternal health and maternal mental health programs to safeguard the advancements made in recent years.
Any child care cuts would be especially disastrous for moms and businesses, because three years after a global pandemic tanked the employment rates of women to historic levels, women are finally returning to the workforce. But if these childcare cuts go through, moms will once again be left behind and pushed out of the labor force.
Child care is already unaffordable for far too many families and access to care is critical to the ability to work and provide for loved ones. Congress must take action to uplift and support children, families, providers, and our economy by passing the Child Care Stabilization Act.