WASHINGTON, D.C.—Jumpstart applauds the broad-based support in the U.S. House of Representatives to make child care a priority with today’s passage of the Child Care is Essential Act and Child Care for Economic Recovery Act.
A recent report by NAEYC found that early education and child care centers are suffering as a result of the pandemic. Increased operations costs to meet new staffing needs and procure essential cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment coupled with significant revenue loss due to reductions in enrollment have resulted in widespread program closures. Moreover, the reduced access to high-quality care adversely impacts families and slows the nation’s economic recovery. Centers owned by people of color have been disproportionally affected, accounting for half of the 40% of facilities forced to close due the pandemic. Without continued support for child care, like the establishment of a Child Care Stabilization Fund included in the next COVID-19 relief package, the industry is unlikely to survive the pandemic.
“Time is running out for Congress to right the wrong that occurred when child care was overlooked in the CARES Act,” said Naila Bolus, President and CEO of Jumpstart. “Failure to enact a serious financial commitment in the next relief package means insufficient support for emergency responders, complacency in a widening achievement gap, and a stagnant economic recovery. The country cannot wait another four plus months for our legislators to act; the lifeline established in these two bills needs to be enacted yesterday.”
The Child Care is Essential Act, establishes a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund authorizing child care specific grants to support the industry in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants will provide urgently needed supports to the industry to prevent further closures, allow providers to safely reopen, and facilitate a strong economic recovery as parents return to work.
Building on that support, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act helps families manage out-of-pocket expenses for high-quality care and increases funding for essential workers, infrastructure grants and initiatives which support low- and middle-income families. Together, these bills provide critical support for the nation’s children, families, and workforce dependent upon child care services to facilitate a strong economic recovery.
ABOUT JUMPSTART FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
For 25 years, Jumpstart has been fueled by the core belief that providing high-quality educational opportunities to all young children contributes to breaking the cycle of poverty. Jumpstart provides an early education solution that meets the needs of the children and communities we serve while advocating for change that ensures all children have access to the early learning opportunities they need. Learn more at jstart.org.