COVID-19 Resources for Policymakers
COVID-19 continues to highlight the vital role child care plays for millions of children and families across the country. Unfortunately, the virus also underscores the precariousness of high-quality, affordable and accessible child care – the result of years of underinvestment in the system. It is more important than ever to implement policies that invest in the sector and build a sustainable future for child care. Child Care Aware® of America’s (CCAoA) created this COVID-19 Resources for Policymakers page, which includes recommendations and tools so that policymakers—at all levels of government—can make informed decisions on child care.
In order to invest in child care and build a more sustainable system for the future, child care requires $50 billion in dedicated federal stabilization funds.
Letters to Policymakers and Members of Congress
Child Care Aware® of America led and signed on to numerous letters to Congress and the Administration outlining federal policy recommendations to support child care during the pandemic. These letters can be found in this table.
Timeline of Federal Legislative Actions Regarding COVID-19 (2020)
- March 6: The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020 (H.R. 6074) is the first federal response to COVID-19 signed into law. This legislation opened nearly $7B in low-interest, Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for some businesses impacted by the pandemic.
- March 18: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) is signed into law. The package included important expansion to nutrition programs and Medicaid, provided Emergency Paid Sick Leave, and expanded the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to cover some paid leave.
- March 27: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) is signed into law. The law included a $3.5B increase to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and $350B in SBA loans for businesses and nonprofits with the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill provided stimulus checks to American households with those who qualify receiving $1,200 and an extra $500 for every child age 16 and under.
- May 15: The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEREOS) Act (H.R. 6800) is passed in the House. The bill would provide $7B in dedicated funding to child care. The bill has yet to be voted on in the Senate.
- July 29: Both The Child Care is Essential Act (H.R. 7027) and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act (H.R. 7327) are passed in the House. The Child Care is Essential Act would provide $50B in child care stabilization funds. The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act would expand access to quality child care to help parents return to work. The bills are yet to be voted on in the Senate.
- October 1: The HEROES Act (H.R. 925) is passed in the House. This updated version of the earlier HEROES Act passed in May would provide $57 billion in emergency funding for child care – $50 billion for child care stabilization grants and $7 billion in emergency funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program (CCDBG). The bill is yet to be voted on in the Senate.
- December 27: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 is signed to law. The package combines full year funding with COVID-19 relief. The law included $10B in dedicated child care relief through the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Additionally the relief funding included $250M in support for Head Start, $284B in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, $166B in direct payment checks and an extension of unemployment benefits.
Timeline of Federal Legislative Actions Regarding COVID-19 (2021)
- March 11: The American Rescue Plan Act is signed into law. The COVID-19 relief package includes $39B in dedicated child care relief. The $39B provides $24B for a child care stabilization fund and $15B for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Additionally, the relief funding included $1B for Head Start, $1,400 stimulus payments for individuals, and a permanent increase in annual funding for the Child Care Entitlement to States for a total of $3.550B per year.
State Policy Recommendations
Child Care Aware® of America’s blog series reviews state child care policies enacted throughout the pandemic. Policymakers can use these blog posts to learn about the policies that states have implemented or permanently extended.
- Supporting Financial Stability for Providers
- Protecting Health and Safety
- Support for Families During COVID-19
- Child Care Ratios and Class Size
- Child Care and School Reopening Plans
- State Group Size and Ratio Policy Changes During COVID-19
- Review of State Policies: COVID-19 Vaccination Distribution Plans
Stories from the Field
Kate Aronoff, Parent, Oregon
When Kate Aronoff’s child care center closed due to COVID-19, she enrolled her two young children in another program in the area. Sadly, only a couple weeks after that, that program closed permanently as well.
Child Care Storybook
Read the new Child Care Storybook by Child Care In Crisis to hear from stories from your constituents – parents, grandparents, early childhood educators, home-based child care providers and small business owners. Hear from individuals who struggle each day to navigate a child care system that’s been pushed to the brink of collapse because of a lack of sufficient public investment.
Additional Resources from CCAoA
Emergency Child Care & Technical Assistance Center™ provides training, technical assistance and resources for the entire child care community. CCR&Rs, providers, families and employers are encouraged to get support during the COVID-19 crisis, and beyond.
Explore Picking Up the Pieces, CCAoA’s newest report. It’s organized into three chapters that explore the impact of COVID-19 on child care access, affordability, and quality.
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