CLASP Applauds New Child Care Bill, Releases State-by-State Impact Figures

Washington, DC, May 27, 2020—Today, Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), along with other members of the House and Senate, introduced the bicameral Child Care is Essential Act. The bill would dedicate $50 billion in relief funding for the child care sector to help sustain child care providers and reduce child care cost burdens for parents during the coronavirus pandemic. The Act would fund grants to child care providers to meet fixed costs, fully compensate staff, and modify services to comply with public health guidelines, while eliminating child care payments for families. The Child Care is Essential Act responds to the nearly 500 national, state, and local organizations that have called for an urgent investment of $50 billion to save the child care sector from collapse.

Hannah Matthews, deputy executive director for policy at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), who testified yesterday about the impact of COVID-19 on child care to the House Education and Labor Committee, applauded the bill.

“The current public health and economic crisis is decimating the country's already-precarious child care system. Hundreds of thousands of child care programs are at risk of permanent closure if they do not receive financial support,” said Matthews. “The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is proud to support the Child Care is Essential Act—$50 billion in public funding that will sustain child care through the pandemic and lay the foundation for an economic recovery where parents can go back to work, children can return to nurturing settings that help them thrive, and millions of child care workers—disproportionately women of color—will not lose their livelihoods.”

CLASP, in partnership with the National Women’s Law Center and former U.S. Council of Economic Advisors labor economist Aaron Sojourner, estimates that the child care field needs $9.6 billion per month to sustain providers and serve the children of essential workers during the pandemic—a figure that would be even higher in order for programs to implement current guidance to protect children and workers’ health and safety in child care. CLASP’s 50-state analysis shows how much each state is likely to receive in child care relief funds if the bill were to become law.

CLASP applauds the co-sponsors of the Child Care is Essential Act for taking this critical step to keep child care providers afloat, ensure child care is available for essential workers on the front lines of this public health crisis, eliminate cost burdens for parents, and provide resources to enable child care to reopen safely. We urge the House and Senate to move swiftly to get these relief funds to child care providers as soon as possible to meet the urgent and growing need.

CLASP experts are available for comment on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and how the Act would support children, families, and providers.