Learning from Relief Funding: A Look at Outreach and Education Efforts Across the Country

June 25, 2024



Child care received $52.5 billion in temporary federal relief funding to help the sector recover and rebuild in the wake of the pandemic. Research shows that the investments have made a difference in lowering prices for families and increasing child care employment and wages, which helped stabilize the market in a time of turmoil. This funding, especially stabilization grants made available under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), gave each state an opportunity to make much-needed improvements to their child care system. States are required to spend any remaining amounts by September 2024 and, unfortunately, further federal investments have not been made. 

To underscore the effects this monumental funding had for the sector, Child Care Aware® of America provided subgrants, through the generous support of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, to twelve Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies. The goal of this project was to strengthen each CCR&R’s capacity to conduct outreach and educational activity that demonstrates the impact these public investments made for families, providers, and communities across the country. While the individual approaches of each CCR&R differed, common themes appeared across projects to inform decisions and investments to build a child care system that is affordable, accessible, and high quality for all. 

With this additional capacity, CCR&Rs met the moment to ensure their stories were heard, amplified the experiences of families and providers, and took stories, data, messages and recommendations directly to policymakers to demonstrate the significant impact this funding had.

Read the full report, including detailed state spotlights 

Topics: Policy & Advocacy

Elise Cranston

Written by Elise Cranston

Elise Cranston is the Director of Advocacy for Child Care Aware of America, working to grow our organization’s efforts to engage stakeholders in advocacy for safe, quality, and affordable childcare for all families. With over a decade of service in the non-profit sector, Elise is a dedicated advocate and leader focused on championing health and education initiatives tailored to under-resourced communities, working towards a future with equitable access to essential services for all. She began her career as an English teacher, and she earned a Master of Education from Lipscomb University and a Bachelor of Arts in American History and Political Science from the University of Alabama.