Child Care Relief in COVID Bill Nets Praise

March 12, 2021 by Sara Wilkerson
In this March 10, 2021, photo, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., gestures after the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill was passed at the Capitol in Washington. Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package is being hailed by Democrats and progressive policy advocates as a generational expansion of the social safety net, providing food and housing assistance, greater access to health care and direct aid to families in what amounts to a broad-based attack on the cycle of poverty. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The National Association for the Education of Young Children announced its support of the passage of the American Rescue Plan, which includes $39 billion in child care relief. 

The legislative relief will address the needs of parents, educators and child care centers across the country. 

“For a full pandemic year, child care providers have put their lives and livelihoods on the line, pushing themselves in service to children, families, and their communities until they reached a breaking point—and then pushing a little farther,” NAEYC CEO Rhian Evans Allvin said in a public statement. 

Allvin continued, “This is the time to start to rebuild an equitable child care sector in a way that puts a diverse, well-prepared, supported, and compensated workforce at the center, driving supply and quality simultaneously, and creating a system that both keeps kids safe while their parents work and propels the science of early learning. 

“That means a system that is not built on the backs of early childhood educators’ poverty-level wages nor parents paying prices that are more than in-state college tuition,” Allvin added. 

As part of the American Rescue Plan, $24 billion will be set aside for a child care stabilization fund for child care providers. 

Through the stabilization fund, providers will be eligible for grants that can help pay for personnel expenses, cleaning supplies and personal protective equipment, as well as mental health services. 

In addition to the stabilization fund, the American Rescue Plan will provide $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, a program that helps provide child care subsidies for low-income families. 

Under the CCDBG program, child care providers and agencies will be given block grants that can help them provide child care assistance to essential workers regardless of their income. 

The child care relief measures come at a critical time for child care centers. According to a December 2020 survey from NAEYC, 56% of surveyed child care centers said that they were losing revenue each day they remained open. 

In the same survey, one-in-four centers and one-in-three child care homes said they might close if they did not receive additional funding support and if their enrollment continued to plateau. 

To prevent closures, 42% of respondents said that they have taken on debt for child care supplies by charging these expenses on their own personal credit cards. 

Additionally, 39% reported that they have tried to help meet the needs of the families they serve by using funds from their own personal savings accounts. 

In addition to helping child care providers, the American Rescue plan features other measures that will help make child care more affordable for American families. 

Among those measures, Congress has set aside $1 billion for the Head Start program, a federally funded program that promotes school readiness and ensures that low-income families have access to quality early learning opportunities. 

The American Rescue plan also allocates $130 billion in funding for K-12 schools to safely reopen and address lost classroom time. 

According to the U.S Education and Labor Committee, the K-12 funding will help schools repair ventilation systems, reduce classroom sizes and implement social distancing guidelines, as well as help schools purchase PPE and hire support staff for students’ health and well-being. 

Expansions for child care tax credits, student loan forgiveness, and additional stimulus checks were also included in the American Rescue plan. 

In The News

Health

Voting

Congress

House Ethics Panel to Investigate Gaetz
Congress
House Ethics Panel to Investigate Gaetz
April 9, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - The House Ethics Committee has opened an investigation into the recent flood of allegations against Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., including that he broke sex trafficking laws, shared graphic images of women with lawmakers on the House floor, and misused campaign funds. In a brief... Read More

Biden Unveils $1.52 Trillion Budget Proposal
White House
Biden Unveils $1.52 Trillion Budget Proposal
April 9, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - President Joe Biden unveiled a $1.5 trillion budget proposal for the 2022 fiscal year, that among other things, includes a 16% increase in non-defense spending. In his first budget proposal as president, Biden is asking Congress for $753 billion for the Defense Department and... Read More

Alcee Hastings Dies of Cancer at 84
Congress
Alcee Hastings Dies of Cancer at 84
April 6, 2021
by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON - Rep. Alcee Hastings, the dean of Florida’s congressional delegation, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 84. Hastings announced his cancer diagnosis just over two years ago, but he continued to press on with his work until near the very end... Read More

Biden's Big Infrastructure Plan Hits McConnell, GOP Blockade
Infrastructure
Biden's Big Infrastructure Plan Hits McConnell, GOP Blockade

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are making the politically brazen bet that it's more advantageous to oppose President Joe Biden's ambitious rebuild America agenda  than to lend support for the costly $2.3 trillion undertaking for roads, bridges and other infrastructure investments. Much the way Republicans... Read More

Goldmine of New Resources for Railroads
Transportation
Goldmine of New Resources for Railroads
April 5, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- Virginia’s plan for a $3.7 billion passenger rail expansion was revolutionary on Tuesday when the governor announced it but later in the week looked like the tip of the iceberg. The next day, President Joe Biden presented his plan for $2.2 trillion in infrastructure improvements,... Read More

Outrage Over State Election Laws Grows as Congress Takes Action
Political News
Outrage Over State Election Laws Grows as Congress Takes Action
April 2, 2021
by Tom Ramstack

WASHINGTON -- The backlash continued Thursday against Georgia’s new elections law while Congress moved ahead with a bill that could eliminate much of states’ rights to determine the conditions for which residents vote, when they vote and where.  Civil rights activists called on major corporations to... Read More

News From The Well
scroll top