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As families and workers across the country face a worsening child care crisis, advocates and activists with Care Can’t Wait are doubling down on their demand that lawmakers prioritize child care funding. Across the country, we’re seeing stories of families facing economic instability, children experiencing disruptions in their care, and a childcare workforce forced to make impossible choices due to the loss of federal funding in September.
With the clock ticking for our communities and our economy, Care Can’t Wait knows we cannot wait any longer to act on this crisis—and that’s why we’re demanding that Congress swiftly pass President Biden’s emergency aid request of $16 billion in child care funding.
Here’s what folks are reading across the country about how the loss of federal funding has already had a real—and devastating—impact on families:
In North Carolina:
Smoky Mountain News: “A slew of childcare centers in the region will be closing by the end of the month, leaving the families of about 300 children with the difficult task of obtaining childcare on short notice at a time when access is limited. ‘As a non-profit agency, we have asked for additional funding from our government funders, and this has not been granted to us at this time,” Sheila Hoyle, executive director of Southwestern Child Development Commission, told The Smoky Mountain News. “At this time, we have no choice but to close our childcare programs.’”
Henrico Citizen: “Owner Elizabeth Oppong received past government funding, and said she’s still struggling to keep the doors open. Her situation will be worse without federal funding, she said. Oppong can’t afford to hire more teachers, she said. That also means she cannot enroll new students, because there are state protocols for teacher to student ratios in day cares. She loses money every day, but there is a demand for her services. ‘I get parents calling me every day,” she said. “I do have spots, but I don’t have a teacher yet.’”
Richmond Times-Dispatch: “Virginia child care providers are bracing for a major drop-off in federal funding that could cause tens of thousands of kids in the state to lose child care. […] With the funding cliff on the horizon, child care providers and business leaders worry about how the loss of child care services for thousands of Virginians could affect families’ ability to afford child care and therefore be able to work.”
The Oskaloosa Herald: “The child care program offered by the Mahaska County YMCA is planning to turn to its community donors, YMCA members and participating families to help fill in the funding gap left by the approximately $500,000 in COVID relief money that it received during the 2021-2022 fiscal year…COVID relief money, when it was available, was partially used to fund payroll. Now its absence is adding another wrinkle. Martin says that the center has experienced difficulties retaining workers, losing quality staff to higher-paying jobs outside of the child care industry.”
Minnesota Reformer: “Across Minnesota, women with young children are making tough decisions about their careers and family lives as a shortage of child care slots, the rising cost of child care and the social expectation that women prioritize their children push women away from the workforce.”
Here’s what else you need to know about how the child care crisis is affecting families and communities from coast to coast:
To schedule an interview with a member of the Care Can’t Wait coalition about the ongoing child care crisis, please email Jess Kelsey at email@example.com.
CARE CAN’T WAIT is a coalition of organizations, stakeholders and advocates committed to building a comprehensive, 21st century care infrastructure — that means robust investments to expand access to childcare, paid family and medical leave (PFML), and home- and community-based services (HCBS), and ensure good jobs for the care workforce. The coalition is led by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO); American Association of People with Disabilities; Be A Hero; Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy; Caring Across Generations; Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP); Child Care for Every Family Network; Community Change; Family Values @ Work; MomsRising; National Domestic Workers Alliance; National Partnership for Women & Families; National Women’s Law Center; Paid Leave for All; Service Employees International Union (SEIU); The Arc; and ZERO TO THREE.