Washington, DC – With federal child care funding under the American Rescue Plan Child Care Stabilization Grant Program set to expire at the end of the fiscal year on September 30, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is calling for passage of legislation to keep Rhode Island child care providers afloat.
“When we invest in high-quality, affordable child care, we are investing in the strength of families and the economy. Without action, the child care funding cliff could lead to reduced wages for early educators, increased tuition for families struggling to make ends meet, and seats for fewer kids. We cannot afford to let this happen. I urge my colleagues to pass the Child Care Stabilization Act to extend access to high-quality child care and prevent the ripple effects inaction will have on kids, parents, and providers.”
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the already fragile child care sector to the brink of collapse. Democrats secured historic funding in the American Rescue Plan to stabilize child care during the COVID-19 pandemic, but that relief funding is set to end on Sunday. The American Rescue Plan allowed 220,000 child care providers to keep their doors open during the pandemic, reduce tuition for families, raise early educators’ pay, and invest in their classrooms.
Whitehouse is a cosponsor of Senator Patty Murray’s (D-WA) Child Care Stabilization Act, which would prevent a potential crisis when funding expires by providing $16 billion in mandatory funding each year for the next five years to continue the successful Child Care Stabilization Grant program.
Without additional funding for child care in Rhode Island, more than 21,000 kids could lose access to child care, at least 680 child care workers could lose their jobs, Rhode Island parents could lose $75 million in earnings after being forced to cut work hours or leave the workforce, and 419 child care programs could close.
Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921