WASHINGTON, Sept. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- The Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) congratulates its Executive Director, Radha Mohan, on being named as one of three finalists for the Women in Government Relations 2020 Excellence in Advocacy Awards in the Up and Coming Practitioner category.
This award is in part due to Ms. Mohan's ongoing work with ECEC, which serves as the unified collective voice for the leading licensed 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. ECEC's members provide high-quality programs and services that support families and children from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the child care industry has been decimated. Enrollment in child care programs remains anywhere from 25-40% lower than pre-pandemic levels. At the same time, child care providers face 35% higher operational costs due to personal protective equipment (PPE) costs, enhanced cleaning procedures, health and safety requirements, changes to curriculum, and various other COVID-19 related expenses.
For an industry that already operates on razor-thin margins, dedicated relief through a financial stabilization fund is needed to ensure providers can afford to stay in business, continue caring for children in their communities, and support the workforce through what promises to be an unpredictable few months.
The child care industry is still in jeopardy. Forty percent of child care providers say they will close permanently without financial relief, leading to the loss of 4.5 million child care slots across the U.S. – roughly half of the nation's child care supply.
The ability of many parents to return to work is dependent on childcare being available and schools physically reopening. Put simply, America's economic recovery will stall if Congress allows the child care industry to fail.
Furthermore, the nation's economic recovery heading into the November elections will depend on a functional childcare system. There is a strong demand among voters across the country, regardless of party affiliation, for Congress to prioritize emergency relief funding for child care providers in the next COVID-19 recovery package. According to a poll commissioned by the First Five Years Fund, 74% of those who voted for President Trump, 83% of voters 65 and older, 86% of suburban women, 97% of Black voters, and 93% of Latinx voters all support meaningful funding for child care providers.
Over the past few months, under Ms. Mohan's leadership, ECEC has worked tirelessly with its advocacy partners in the industry to build overwhelming bipartisan support for a child care funding package. Both Democratic and Republican COVID-19 proposals included funding for child care—Senate Republicans included $15 billion in funding for the industry in the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protection and Schools Act and House Democrats included $7 billion in funding in the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act. The House also voted to pass the Child Care Is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act. The first bill provides a $50 billion child care stabilization fund, while the second helps make child care more affordable for working families.
SOURCE Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC)