WASHINGTON, Oct. 2, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Last night, the House passed their latest COVID-19 economic relief package, which includes $57 billion in emergency funding for the child care sector. The funds would be used to create a much needed $50 billion child care stabilization fund and to provide $7 billion in additional Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funds to the states.
Through the passage of this bill, House Democrats have made clear that they recognize the importance of providing assistance for child care providers, given the essential role the industry plays in our nation's economic recovery. Providers are in dire straits—operational expenses for Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) members are about 35% higher than they were pre-COVID-19 while enrollment has declined by about 30%. Across the sector, the pandemic has increased operating costs by an average of 47%. Providers do not have enough revenue to meet operating expenses and have been forced to take drastic measures to stay open for working families. Absent federal funding, providers cannot continue to operate under these conditions and a large number will close permanently. Without a stable child care sector, 11 million working parents with children under age three will struggle to remain in the workforce, putting struggling businesses at risk.
ECEC is incredibly grateful for the HEROES Act's investment in our sector. Access to child care impacts all Americans, regardless of party, and it has become increasingly clear that a strong majority of voters recognize this—a recent First Five Years Fund (FFYF) poll found that 79% of all voters, including 63% of Republican women voters, say the coronavirus crisis has shown us how essential it is that we build a child care system that makes child care available and affordable to all families who need it. A subsequent Center for American Progress (CAP) survey found that six in 10 American parents believe there is a serious problem finding quality, affordable care in their community, and the pandemic has exacerbated challenges in terms of availability and cost of child care for four in 10 parents.
Congress, too, has made their support for the child care sector clear. Senate Republicans included $15 billion in emergency funding for child care in both the HEALS Act and the Delivering Immediate Relief to America's Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act.
ECEC urges members of Congress to come together to get a federal package across the finish line.
ABOUT THE EARLY CARE AND EDUCATION CONSORTIUM
The Early Care and Education Consortium is a non-profit alliance of the leading multi-state/multi-site child care providers, key state child care associations, and premier educational service providers, representing over 6,500 programs in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and select international locations. Our members serve as the unified collective voice for providers of high-quality programs and services that support families and children from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. We are advocates for strong federal and state policies that bring quality to scale. Learn more at https://www.ececonsortium.org/.
SOURCE Early Care & Education Consortium (ECEC)