Funding will help over 875,000 families afford child care, and save nearly 449,000 child care programs that serve over 7.3 million children
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the inclusion of $40 billion in child care relief in the American Rescue Plan (ARP).
“We have long had a child care crisis in this country and it has always made things especially challenging for families of color and families who are paid low incomes—and the pandemic has only made it worse. Now, with COVID-19, child care providers across the country are struggling to stay afloat while others have had to shut their doors completely, making it even harder for frontline workers to stay on the job.
“Without support, child care providers will continue to close and child care workers—who are mostly women—will continue to lose their jobs. While Democrats have been pushing for years to invest in our child care sector, Republicans can no longer ignore the very real implications child care has on our economy—because if parents can’t get back to work, our economy won’t recover.
“The American Rescue Plan marks a historic shift in how our country approaches child care. This legislation will save hundreds of thousands of providers who serve millions of children from closure—and help almost one million families across the country afford quality, child care. I am so proud that we have set a new precedent for finally prioritizing economic policies that support working women and families.”
The American Rescue Plan includes $40 billion in child care funds to ensure to support child care providers and prevent further closures, ensure child care workers—the majority of whom are women—don’t continue to lose their jobs, and ensure working families have access to quality, affordable child care. $15 billion of these funds will go to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to subsidize child care for 875,000 children over the next year. $24 billion are child care stabilization funds to save and sustain nearly 449,000 child care programs, impacting 7.3 million children. The bill also includes $1 billion for Head Start to ensure programs can continue to provide vital services to children and families.
Senator Murray led the fight for child care relief during this pandemic, and is a leader in the Senate on child care reform. Senator Murray has successfully increased investment in early childhood education and child care by increasing funding for both Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant and she introduced her Child Care for Working Families Act in 2017.