Congressional leaders reached an agreement on a COVID-19 relief package over the weekend, that includes a $10 billion investment in child care. We are reviewing every detail and we know the details are crucial for family child care. The House and Senate are expected to vote on and approve this legislation.
We are glad that Congress saw the child care community and included this recognition. But at $10 billion and not the much needed $50 billion, we do not think they have seen us fully.
Moving these funds through the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) law will take some work and creativity among state agency leaders, and we are ready to help. The urgency is just so enormous. We know that, historically, you’ve too often been ignored in family child care. We do not want that to happen again.
We hold you in our hearts in every action we take at NAFCC: every painful experience of family child care getting left behind, every success story of family child care being truly prioritized, every worry about the health of your family members, every heartbreaking unnecessary loss of a loved one, every reality about the risks you’re facing. The pandemic isn’t over. We know this down payment doesn’t change that and it does not eliminate your stress and worry.
This $10 billion investment is almost three times more than the CARES Act investment in child care back in March – but things are much more dire now too. These additional CCDBG dollars would come with some extra flexibility. We’ll push for that to mean that this funding can reach you.
In the meantime, we know that state agency leaders must create equitable distribution of these funds, partner with provider associations to listen and make decisions and issue funds quickly and fairly.
Congressional leaders have made a promise that this is a down payment. We appreciate this start and we urge Congress to continue this work for child care when they return in January. We have to keep coming back. We are devastated with you about how many of our family child care friends and colleagues will not be able to sustain. We see the risk you are all assuming and not just for you, but for your own family members and the families you care for.
NAFCC is here and our partners are here. We are never giving up on you. Congress called this a “down payment” – so let’s insist on that being true and real and continue the teamwork to a whole better way soon.