The Biden administration on Thursday will release nearly $40 billion of the administration's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package to confront what President Joe Biden has called an “acute, immediate child care crisis,” distributing money to help providers pay their rent and rehire workers made jobless by the pandemic, as well as make child care more affordable for low-income families.
Half of providers remained closed in July, despite funding from small business loans and stimulus packages passed by Congress, according to the Child Care Aware of America, a research and advocacy group. That number dropped to 13% by December 2020, but NAEYC found that 2 in 5 providers reported taking on debt, including using personal credit cards or reducing costs through layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts.
Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware of America, said while $39 billion injection will help stabilize the industry, the Biden administration has an opportunity to transform the child care system with more funding through the president's infrastructure proposal.
"Child care is just as important as roads and bridges. It enables parents to work and keeps our economy moving," Cardona said. "As the Biden Administration releases their next plan, to support 'human infrastructure' or the 'caregiving economy,' we will be looking for significant increased investment in child care."