A new blog from the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) highlights the different challenges facing child care providers and state administrators across the country as they work to reopen child care centers.
For child care providers, the barriers for reopening and staying open are twofold: higher costs and lower revenues. Already operating on slim margins prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, providers now have to contend with retrofitting their facilities and reducing their class sizes to fit ever-changing safety protocols. On top of that, providers are also seeing lower enrollment and attendance amid parents’ safety concerns about sending children back into care.
Recognizing the importance of child care for getting Americans back to work, state governments are using what’s left of the supplemental Child Care Development Block Grant funds provided through the CARES Act to support child care providers reopening. However, that funding is quickly running out, requiring states to look to other programs and local governments to help fill in the gaps.
Last month, BPC hosted a roundtable with 10 state child care administrators to discuss how states are using the funding made available through the CARES ACT, including the challenges they’ve faced. Many of the states reported that they expected CARES funding to run out shortly, reaffirming that a more substantial and targeted approach is needed from Congress to further stabilize the child care industry. Read more from Bipartisan Policy Center.