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Tell Your Legislator To Support The Child Care Is Essential Act

Tell Your Legislator to Support the Child Care Is Essential Act

Congress can no longer sit on the sidelines watching as parents face an unprecedented struggle to work and care for their children during the pandemic. Parents are suffering. With many schools, camps, and child care facilities closed, millions of parents are left making impossible choices between raising their kids and earning a paycheck. This is not an individual issue. This is a systemic issue. And Congress must act now to put systems in place to support working parents.

Step one:  Tell your legislator to support the Child Care is Essential Act (S. 3874/H.R 7027) to create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund so that child care providers, including child care centers, home based providers, and family child care homes, can reopen safely and stay afloat until they are able to reopen safely. The full text of the letter in the Take Action conveying the urgency of this issue can also be found below.

Step two: Are you a parent with childcare responsibilities during the pandemic? Share your story with us (or post a video) to help us advocate for better child care solutions.

TAKE ACTION LETTER (to send this letter to your legislator, please fill out the take action form above): 

Dear Member of Congress:

Congress can no longer sit on the sidelines watching as parents face an unprecedented struggle to work and care for their children during the pandemic. Parents are suffering. With many schools, camps, and child care facilities closed, millions of parents are left making impossible choices between caring for their kids and earning a paycheck. This is not an individual issue. This is a systemic issue. And Congress must act now to put systems in place to support working parents.

As uncertainty remains over whether schools will reopen in the fall, it is clear we will need a robust child care system that will provide a host of options to parents should schools remain closed or move to part time or staggered schedules. That’s why I urge you to support the Child Care is Essential Act (S. 3874/H.R 7027) to create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund so that child care providers, including child care centers, home based providers, and family child care homes, can reopen safely and stay afloat until they are able to reopen.

The child care sector is the unacknowledged back bone of our economy. If we don’t have adequate, quality child care, parents in turn can’t re-enter the workforce and our economy will languish. Estimates show that providers face a 30 percent increase in costs in order to put in place the necessary updates to ensure safe environments during the pandemic.

Without adequate funding, child care providers don’t have the proper safety equipment, training, and support to re-open and cover payroll, expenses, and operating costs, which means parents’ only options is to keep their kids at home. And yet, Congress has offered painfully little support to child care providers around the country. The CARES Act offered $3.5 billion in grants to states but that was not nearly enough to stabilize the industry and experts agree the child care industry needs at least $50 billion just to stay afloat through the emergency, and billions more for long term stability. Women also comprise over 90 percent of childcare providers, nearly half of whom are women of color. Ensuring child care workers’ jobs are secure is a matter of gender, racial, and economic justice.

The Child Care is Essential Act would help meet the immediate needs of working parents and child care providers by ensuring providers can safely reopen by covering costs including cleaning, training in safety and health, mental health supports, employee pay, and other services to ensure safety and viability. This legislation is the first step among many that are needed to stabilize the child care industry and support working parents. The child care industry needs long term structural change to ensure equity and access, families need a permanent right to paid family and medical leave, and caregivers needs stronger protections against discrimination.

Right now, the Child Care is Essential Act is the foundation we need to ensure access to affordable, quality child care during the pandemic. We demand it and the health of our child care workers, our parents, our children, and our economy depends on it.

Thank you for your consideration of this urgently needed legislation.

Sincerely,

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