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Council for a Strong America Urges Congress to Address the Needs of Child Care in COVID-19 Response
The child care sector is a critical component of the economy and a crucial support for working families
Council for a Strong America (CSA) urges Congress to continue to seek timely, bipartisan measures that address the COVID-19 health emergency that poses such a significant threat to our nation.
We applaud Congress for the action it has taken so far in working to mitigate this pressing health crisis. However, we implore Congress to continue to move forward with further action, and, in doing so, to prioritize addressing the urgent and potentially devastating effects COVID-19 will have, and is having, on child care.
Already in the midst of a child care crisis, our nation now faces the reality that child care providers, about 70 percent of which are small businesses, will suffer badly if not supported by Congressional action that will help them weather the economic challenges ahead.
The impacts of that grim possibility can’t be overstated, not only for the providers themselves, but for the working families that contribute so much to our economy, including first responders and healthcare professionals. That’s why it’s critical for Congress to ensure that all remedies for small businesses and workers take into account the unique characteristics of child care providers.
Because most providers are small businesses, Congress should make sure that child care providers are eligible for any type of small-business assistance offered. For instance, Congress should clarify that charitable nonprofits are able to participate in the emergency Small Business Loan Program.
And, although most providers are small businesses, they’re often early childhood educators first, and businesspeople second. That means that they’ll need technical assistance and guidance to help them access any resources made available to them.
Finally, Congress should be sure to consider the other unique challenges of the child care industry, such as self-employed / independent contractors who aren’t covered by unemployment insurance.
Congress could also give HHS the ability to re-allocate already appropriated CCDBG funds that have been returned to HHS by the states, as opposed to sending the funds to the Treasury Department. Such a measure would, again, direct funds to the areas of greatest need, while also not requiring new appropriations by Congress.
For these reasons and many others, Congress must ensure that child care providers continue to be able to serve working families and the communities in which they live. Any proposals must acknowledge the pivotal role that the child care industry will necessarily play in our collective societal and economic strength today and tomorrow.
As Congress endeavors to meet the ever-changing challenges associated with this public health emergency, we strongly urge lawmakers to remember to address the pressing, unique challenges associated with the child care industry. The steps that Congress takes now can and should maintain capacity for when our nation’s working parents are able to return to work.
Council for a Strong America is a national, bipartisan nonprofit that unites five organizations comprised of law enforcement leaders, retired admirals and generals, business executives, pastors, and prominent coaches and athletes who promote evidence-based solutions that ensure our next generation of Americans will be successful, productive members of society.
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