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DeLauro Leads House Passage of $50 Billion Child Care Stabilization Fund, Estimated $330 Million for Connecticut

July 29, 2020
Press Release

Without adequate support, Connecticut could 46,349 licensed child care slots, 48% of the child care supply

Child Care is Essential Act recognizes that child care providers are at the forefront of the nation’s response to COVID-19 by supporting Connecticut’s providers to safely reopen and operate

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, led House Democrats in passing her child care relief bill, H.R. 7027, the Child Care is Essential Act, to create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization fund and invest in child care so that providers across Connecticut have the resources they need to safely reopen. Without investments in the child care industry, families across the country will be unable to return to work.

Without adequate support from the federal government, Connecticut could lose 46,349 licensed child care slots, approximately 48% of the child care supply. The $330,221,495 Connecticut would receive from the Child Care is Essential Act would help child care providers stay open, keep employees on the payroll, and safely operate under new guidelines.

“The biggest worries among providers in my homes state of Connecticut are loss of revenue, how to pay non-payroll business expenses, and that families will not return after the public health emergency,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “If we cannot make families feel confident that their kids are going to be in a safe and secure environment, we are not going to get our economy back on track. More than half of child care programs could close if we do not act quickly. My legislation, the Child Care is Essential Act, provides grant funding to child care providers to stabilize the sector and support providers so they can be safely reopening and running. Passage of this critical legislation represents a bold step to meet this historic moment for women, for families, for children, for these small businesses, for communities of color. We must stabilize the child care sector. Child care is essential.”

There are an estimated 121,580 children ages zero to five, with no parent at home, who need child care in Connecticut. Prior to the spread of the coronavirus, Connecticut could not provide care for every child that needed it. With 2.3 children per child care slot, working families lacked access to safe, quality child care. The spread of COVID-19 has only worsened this problem to the brink of catastrophe. Since the pandemic, it is now estimated that there are 4.41 children per child care slot. Without robust federal investments, the child care industry cannot provide the care needed to help Americans return to work.

Additionally, as the Center for American Progress outlined in a recent report, areas of the country with Black and Hispanic residents are likely to experience worsening child care deserts during the pandemic based on conditions that previously existed. The investments in the Child Care is Essential Act would help prevent the expansion of child care deserts and decrease the impact the COVID-19 pandemic is having on communities of color.

The Child Care is Essential Act includes:

  • Stabilization grants for personnel costs, sanitation and cleaning, training, and other goods and services needed to maintain or resume operation of the child care program.
  • Support for child care workers. This bill requires employers to keep child care workers on payroll at the same compensation level as pre-COVID as a condition of receiving stabilization grant funds.
  • Support for working families by requiring providers to relieve families of copayments or tuition.
  • Promotion of health and safety through compliance with public health guidance. Under this legislation, open providers would be required to meet health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local authorities.

“Passage of this critical legislation represents a bold step to meet this historic moment for women, for families, for children, for these small businesses, for communities of color,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “We must stabilize the child care sector. Child care is essential. It’s now up to Senate Republicans to act boldly and join us in protection working families and finding real solutions.”

A summary of the Child Care Is Essential Act is here. A video of DeLauro’s remarks on the House Floor in support of this legislation can be found here.