If you’re from a working family and you’ve managed to keep your child care going for the past two years, you could thank the federal government, according to a new report.

Child care providers have faced strong financial pressures during the coronavirus pandemic due to closures and absences that have reduced their income, as well as the need to invest in costly new security measures and, more recently, the high cost of retaining or hiring workers in an extremely tight labor market.

Literally tens of thousands of child care providers have downsized or closed, leaving families struggle to find alternatives ― whether relying on more informal care or simply keeping children at home. This is one of the reasons why so many working parents, especially womento have reduced their hours or completely abandoned the American workforce.

But the wave of downsizing and closures in the child care industry would have been far worse had the federal government not spent tens of trillions of dollars to support child care, according to the new report.

An assessment of the recent past, roughly

the report just The Foundation of the Century, a nonpartisan liberal think tank. By design, the report came out Thursday morning, a day before the first anniversary of the US bailout.

ARP, passed by Democrats on a party-line vote and signed into law by the President Joe Biden, was the latest and greatest of the major COVID-19 relief acts. He understood roughly $40 billion in new spending to support child care providerswho could spend the money on workers’ compensation, physical improvements, and pandemic debt repayment, among other uses.

Around 75,000 providers avoided closure because of the money, the report said, preserving more than 3 million slots. This would represent about a third of the total supply of childcare slots in the country, according to the co-author Rasheed Malikwho is director of early childhood policy at the liberal Center for American Progress.

President Joe Biden greets children at the Capitol Child Development Center in Hartford, Connecticut on October 15, 2021.

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

The report’s calculations are based on data from two independent groups that focus on early childhood: the National Association for the Education of Young Children and Child Care Aware. The report also builds on a separate analysis done by the Center for American Progress several years ago.

None of these estimates are anywhere near definitive, making any extrapolation necessarily rough, as Malik and the report’s co-author Julie Kashen readily acknowledged in an interview with HuffPost.

But chronically poor tracking of child care in the United States makes it difficult to find more precise numbers, the co-authors said, and the report’s estimates are robust enough to capture the overall impact of aid policies. federal.

“When Congress invests money in the child care industry, it makes a difference.”

– Julie Kashen, The Century Foundation

“The bottom line is that a significant portion of the child care sector has been stabilized by COVID relief funding,” said Kashen, who is a senior fellow at the Century Foundation and director of its economic justice program.

Anecdotal evidence supports that judgment, from child care operators telling reporters how funds saved their facilities to elected officials telling voters how they used federal money.

Money didn’t reach everyone who needed it, and sometimes it took a while to get through the familiar bureaucratic hurdles.

But few officials dispute that it has made a difference, even partisan Republican governors like Kim Reynolds of Iowa touting the benefits of federal bailout money flowing from Democrats in Washington.

A lesson for the future, perhaps

The nominal focus of the report is the impact of federal relief funds designed to help child care providers through the pandemic. But implicitly, this also argues in favor of a larger and longer-term investment.

child care was already in a kind of crisis same before COVID-19. Providers were struggling to find enough skilled workers because the pay was so low, but they couldn’t raise wages without charging more ― something that was nearly impossible with so many families struggling to pay existing fees and government assistance so limited.

The result was a lot of stressed families and a lot of poor quality care.

Biden and Democratic leaders came into office promising to fix these long-term issues and eventually did. an even bigger childcare initiative part of the “Building back better” legislation they drafted last year.

They still hope to pass some form of this legislation through a compromise with Joe Manchin, the Democratic senator from West Virginia whose objections effectively killed Build Back Better in its current form. Manchin has in the past signaled his support for parts of the Democratic Childhood Agenda, giving advocates hope he could be part of any final agreement that emerges from the negotiations.

But the Democratic child care proposal has come under heavy criticism from other sources across the political spectrum, with some analysts and advocates saying the proposal is too big and would impose too much regulationand others claiming it’s too small and would not do enough to guarantee access.

The Century Foundation report does not address these concerns. But its authors, who both advised lawmakers in crafting the Build Back Better proposal, thinks the record of federal child care spending during the pandemic should bolster confidence that a longer-term initiative will help.

“What we’re seeing here is when Congress puts money into the child care industry, it makes a difference,” Kashen said. “But it was temporary money and in the end we will only get closer to where we were before, which was not very good. And so that reinforces the need for more investment. comprehensive in system construction.

var _fbPartnerID = null; if (_fbPartnerID !== null) { fbq(‘init’, _fbPartnerID + ”); fbq(‘track’, “PageView”); }

(function () { ‘use strict’; document.addEventListener(‘DOMContentLoaded’, function () { document.body.addEventListener(‘click’, function(event) { fbq(‘track’, “Click”); }) ; }); })();

Disclaimer! Verve Times is an automatic aggregator of all media in the world. In each content, the hyperlink to the main source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the content owner and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – [email protected]. Content will be deleted within 24 hours.