Last night, Congress passed the much anticipated bipartisan FY21 Appropriations & COVID Relief Bill, which included $10 billion in funding for child care relief. Throughout the pandemic, child care providers have risen to the challenge of educating the children of first-responders, essential personnel, and the broader community, while enduring risks themselves. Serving as the backbone of the economy, providers have often had to rely on personal loans or savings to keep the lights on while desperately waiting nine months for Congressional action.
“Our early education and care partners have demonstrated great fortitude in tackling the challenges that have been thrown at them throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, all the while maintaining excellent care and education of our nation’s children,” said Jumpstart CEO Naila Bolus. “Ten billion is a great start to providing the support needed to keep the sector alive, and I hope Congress will continue to monitor the needs of the sector and renew its commitment to early education and care in the new year.”
Over the summer, the House HEROES Act included $57 billion in funding to stabilize the child care sector and the Senate HEALS Act included $15 billion in relief. A bipartisan national survey conducted by First Five Years Fund and Center for American Progress demonstrated an overwhelming majority of Americans, with and without young children, supported increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care to include up to $50 billion in support for the sector. This broad, bicameral, and bipartisan support confirms the need for more work to be done to increase access to high-quality education and care. Ultimately, a compromise package was advanced to break the logjam and get the country through at least the next quarter.
The economy is reliant upon a healthy child care sector to facilitate a strong economic recovery. As the 117th Congress is sworn in and the Biden-Harris Administration assumes office, Jumpstart looks forward to continuing its advocacy to ensure that every child enters kindergarten prepared to succeed.
ABOUT JUMPSTART FOR YOUNG CHILDREN
Jumpstart is a national early education organization working toward the day every child in America enters kindergarten prepared to succeed. Jumpstart advances equitable learning outcomes for young children in underserved communities by recruiting and supporting caring adults to deliver high-quality programming to children and drive systems change through teaching, advocacy, and leadership. Jumpstart is also a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. Learn more at jstart.org and follow us on Twitter at @Jumpstartkids.