Survey: Vast Majority of Voters Support Financial Assistance for America’s Child Care Industry to Address COVID-19 Impact

April 22, 2020

National poll from Save the Children Action Network and Child Care Aware® of America shows 87 percent of Americans support federal funding to help child care centers pay staff and rent

Today, Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) and Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced the results of a national survey that identified registered voters’ overwhelming support for federal funding to address the worsening child care crisis as a result of COVID-19. This groundbreaking poll, commissioned by SCAN and CCAoA, highlights the child care industry’s vital importance to American families and the American economy. 

“In these unprecedented times, we must listen to voters to better understand what American families – the backbone of our country – need. These poll results illustrate that voters across party lines agree that the child care industry should be prioritized in coronavirus relief efforts. With nearly nine in ten voters supporting specific targeted assistance for the child care industry to ensure it survives this pandemic, it’s clear voters understand that child care and the economy are co-dependent,” said Mark Shriver, President of SCAN. “The child care industry will be an essential component of the economic recovery when it comes to getting workers back to their offices once this pandemic ends. That’s why SCAN and our 350,000 grassroots advocates nationwide are working with policymakers to invest in kids and ensure the child care industry isn’t forgotten. American voters must be heard.”

“We are hearing from child care providers across the country who are laying off staff and don’t know how they will pay their rent and utility bills because their programs are only supported by monthly tuition payments,” said Lynette Fraga, Executive Director of CCAoA. “It’s heartening that the vast majority of Americans support providing financial assistance to the child care heroes who enable our frontline heroes to do their jobs. CCAoA is working closely with Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies and other partners to ensure that the child care industry recovers, that federal and state policy efforts reflect the needs of providers and families, and that the system returns stronger than it was before.” 

“Across party lines and ideological persuasions, voters are sending a clear signal to Congress that ensuring access to quality child care must be part of any first steps to reopening the American economy,” said Michael Meyers, President of TargetPoint Consulting. “They recognize the threat to child care is real and strongly support specific targeted assistance to the child care industry.  Support for bold policies is overwhelming, bipartisan and crosses generations and economic classes.”

Key Poll Takeaways

  • 87% support providing enough federal assistance during the crisis to ensure current child care providers are able to make payroll and pay other expenses, such as rent and utilities
    • A 59% majority strongly support such funding
    • Support crosses partisan lines with support from 82% of Republicans and 94% of Democrats 
  • Four in five support the child care industry receiving targeted financial assistance from the federal government to address the impact of COVID-19
    • 50% strongly support such targeted assistance
  • 84% of lower and middle-income voters – those hit hardest by the economic upheaval – support this assistance
    • Support crosses partisan lines with seven in ten Republicans, nine in ten Democrats and three in four Independents in support
  • 79% support the expansion of the child care industry to serve areas where child care resources are limited or non-existent
    • 50% strongly support such an expansion
  • 78% support the federal government reimbursing essential workers for child care costs paid during the coronavirus pandemic
    • A 53% majority strongly support such reimbursements 
  • 78% support federal assistance to increase pay for child care workers who continue to offer services for children of front line workers, despite increased risks and strains on the system
    • 50% strongly support such increased pay
  • 77% support emergency funding to provide child care in the event of a national economic crisis – like the coronavirus 
    • 50% strongly support such emergency funding

Poll Methodology

This survey was jointly commissioned by SCAN and CCAoA and generously funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Conducted April 11th to 15th, 2020 by TargetPoint Consulting and GQR, the survey encompassed 1,200 interviews conducted from a national sample of registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 2.8%. To read a full analysis and greater detail on the methodology, please see a joint memo from TargetPoint Consulting and GQR.

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Save the Children Action Network was created in 2014 as the political advocacy arm of Save the Children, to be the political voice for kids. We work to ensure that the issues critical to children’s lives and futures are given top priority by our elected leaders, building bipartisan support to make sure every child has a  strong start in life. In particular, we advocate for high-quality early learning and care for children in the U.S., and on issues impacting the world’s most vulnerable children.  

Child Care Aware® of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. CCAoA works with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) and other community partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. CCAoA leads projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offers comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertakes research, and advocates for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families.

Topics: Press Release

David Carrier

Written by David Carrier

David Carrier is Senior Manager of Public Relations for Child Care Aware® of America. He has designed and implemented communications strategies for children’s organizations for more than 20 years. Prior to joining CCAoA, he worked for Council for a Strong America, Child Trends, National Human Services Assembly/National Collaboration for Youth, and National 4-H Council. David has a J.D. from American University and a B.A. from Brandeis University.