Published Date: 07/06/20
Additional COVID-19 relief for the childcare industry has been passed by the United States House of Representatives.
The Moving Forward Act was passed and includes support for existing challenges and new issues childcare providers face due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The act is a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan across several industries that designates funds to be used to make changes to facilities to safely operate. With the Moving Forward Act, $10 billion has been allocated over the next four years specifically to finance grants for childcare providers across both the private and public sectors to fund construction, renovations, and facility improvements.
Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA) spoke in support of the bill. “The Moving Forward Act recognizes that childcare is infrastructure, central to rebuilding our economy, stabilizing our workforce and educating our children. This pandemic has pushed this vital sector to its breaking point and we cannot afford to let it fail,” she said.
The Center for American Progress estimates that the United States could lose up to 4.5 million child care spots without additional support for the industry.
Sarah Rittling, executive director of the First Five Years Fund says, “The COVID-19 health and economic crisis has pushed an already-struggling childcare industry to the brink of collapse and the important but costly new health and safety measures will force providers even farther into the red.”
It’s been widely reported that many providers who were either mandated to close or did so voluntarily are at risk of going out of business. In addition to the cost of increased safety protocols, like PPE and lower ratios, many parents are saying that they’re not comfortable sending children back to a group childcare setting at this time.
Child Care Aware of America CEO Lynette Fraga says, “American businesses and families are asking for relief to keep the childcare industry from collapsing in the short-term and for robust funding to sustain the industry in the future.”
Other bills have been introduced to support the childcare industry, including the Child Care is Essential Act introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), a $50 billion child care bail out introduced by Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Tina Smith (D-MN) are awaiting votes but are not expected to pass at this time.
The Moving Forward Act will have to be voted on by the Senate, though Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "House Democrats appear addicted to pointless political theater. So naturally, this nonesense is not going anywhere in the Senate."
We'll continue to monitor the status and provide updates.
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