Dear Members of Congress,
We’re hearing from families daily that childcare - in one way or another - is one of the most pressing barriers during the COVID 19 crisis. Childcare is an essential support for families, no matter the economic scenario, but is particularly crucial in this pandemic. While the 3.5 billion to CCDBG and the small business loans included in the CARES Act and the later 10 billion were a start to help alleviate this crisis, it has proven deeply insufficient and fails to meet the needs of families.
The size and scope of the impact of this public health crisis on the childcare sector is profound and growing as programs across the country are already closing their doors permanently. Immediate action must be taken to provide, at a minimum, $50 billion to stabilize childcare. We can’t fully re-open our economy without funding essential childcare infrastructure because parents need safe, enriching places for their children to be so they can work; children need safe, enriching places to be so they can learn; and childcare workers need safe workplaces and fair pay.
Recent analysis shows that at least $9.6 billion a month is needed to fully fund existing providers in the sector to pay all their staff, be prepared to reopen at the appropriate time and eliminate cost burdens for families whose providers are closed.
This crisis is also further exacerbating long present racial disparities in childcare access. According to a Center for American Progress analysis, a lack of childcare negatively affected communities of color before the pandemic, as parents of color were more likely than their non-Hispanic white counterparts to experience childcare-related job disruptions that could affect their families’ finances. If policymakers fail to act to address these disparities, this crisis will only intensify.
An uncertain future for childcare means an uncertain future for families.
With more than 23 million children under the age of 5 in the US and the families of more than half them relying on some form of childcare, this potential shutdown would have devastating impacts on families and our economy
The $40 billion stabilization fund can help prevent this crisis from becoming even worse for families by providing the Federal funding we need to keep the childcare system afloat.
Act now to ensure the childcare system is stable so parents and caregivers have childcare to return to when this crisis is over.