Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind voted for bills that will help ensure access to child care for Wisconsin families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Child Care is Essential Act would create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund to provide grant funding to child care providers in order to stabilize the child care sector and support providers looking to safely reopen. The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act would provide emergency funding to address the child care needs of essential workers.
Currently, about half of child care providers have stayed open throughout the COVID-19 crisis to serve children of essential workers. However, with reduced enrollment and steep drops in revenue, many child care providers are struggling to remain viable and to implement additional safety precautions to protect children and workers. The other half of child care providers have been forced to close due to COVID-19 and face the possibility of permanent closure. Wisconsin is at risk of losing 30% of its child care supply, underscoring the need for immediate relief.
This is not the first step Congress has taken to protect child care centers through this crisis. The CARES Act included $3.5 billion for the Child Care Development Block Grant program and $5 billion for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), which can be used for child care centers as well.
“Our frontline workers and their families are relying on access to child care in order to keep our communities safe, healthy, and cared for during this pandemic,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “However, the workers and small business owners who make up our child care system are struggling to weather the economic damages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s crucial that we provide immediate funding to help child care providers continue to keep their doors open, which is why I was proud to vote for both the Child Care is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act.”
Rep. Kind is a member of the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful - and the oldest – committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures.