A fresh round of stimulus could help the industry regain some of its footing. Congress has allocated $10 billion in funding for child care, including $250 million for Head Start, the federal program that subsidizes early childhood education. Most of that money will go to grants for child care providers who need help paying employees and rent and making modifications to their centers to follow new coronavirus rules.
Malik, the CAP researcher, called it a “good down-payment,” but child care providers agree that more money is needed to stabilize the industry — and thereby stabilize the economy as a whole.
Lynette Fraga, the CEO of Child Care Aware of America, an industry advocacy group, said $10 billion “is far from what the child care system needs to survive the pandemic.” The group has put the real price tag around $50 billion.
“This will only provide short-term relief,” Fraga said, “on the long road to recovery for child care.”