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A historic child care investment saved centers from collapse. What happens when the money runs out?

March 03, 2022

The 19th

The funding also came with a big promise to stabilize an industry that was in total collapse. About 1 in 3 child care workers lost their jobs at the onset of the pandemic, and more than 16,000 centers in 37 states had closed permanently by March 2021.

Anne Hedgepeth, the deputy chief of policy at Child Care Aware, a leading child care advocacy organization, said the funding has given states the flexibility to address key pressure points in their child care systems. Most states focused the bulk of their funding on worker retention, bonuses and raising staff pay. But the funding has also gone to make infrastructure and technology upgrades, create training programs, reach families in child care deserts, expand eligibility qualifications for families, lower costs, grow mental health consultation and create scholarships for workers seeking additional education.

“Where we find effective strategies, we’re gonna push every policymaker who will listen to help make those permanent,” Hedgepeth said. “Even resourcing something now will lead to long-term changes [through] just using the evidence that we’re gaining.”

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Topics: Media Mention

Written by CCAoA