Letters to Lawmakers | August 5, 2020

Letter to the White House: Include Dedicated Relief for Child Care in COVID-19 Recovery Package

Council for a Strong America joined a group of the nation’s leading early childhood advocacy organizations to call on the White House to prioritize support for the child care sector

August 4, 2020

The Honorable Donald J. Trump
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

As national early learning and care organizations, we write to ask the White House to build on bipartisan efforts in Congress by providing relief to the child care industry and working parents amidst the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. In the same vein we urge you to prioritize child care in the forthcoming relief package as you continue final negotiations. While we appreciate the child care funding included in the CARES Act, we must stress the dire need that still exists to stabilize the child care industry and support children, families, and the economy as the crisis continues, especially as the country shifts towards recovery.

Child care providers across the country have dealt with months of closures and loss of revenue and face an uncertain future. In fact, a recent survey from the National Association for the Education of Young Children shows 40% of child care providers are certain they will close without financial assistance. We have a public interest in ensuring the child care market weathers this crisis – without child care, the American people cannot go back to work. Therefore, we call on the administration and Congress and to continue the strong bipartisan support for the critical role child care plays in our nation’s economic recovery by building upon the $15 billion investment included in the Senate HEALS Act package and prioritizing significant additional funding to help stabilize the child care industry in the next emergency funding package.

Considering continued high unemployment rates, child care opening status, and the growing need for school-aged care, even conservative estimates of $26 billion in needed funding fall far short and would not reach all of America’s child care providers. Any efforts to stimulate America’s economic recovery and return parents to work will fail if any portion of the child care industry collapses. Child care providers across the country are facing months of closing and reopening due to spikes in coronavirus and required short-term or longer-term closing when infections are present. What’s more, providers are seeing a dramatic increase in operating expenses that threaten their viability. Uncertainty around the trajectory and future of the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our entire country – but parents and businesses alike rely on the availability of child care as a critical and essential industry. All of this unpredictability only makes operating a child care business – most of which rely on enrollment for their income – all the more challenging, but all the more necessary for the administration and Congress to support.

While both the previous House and Senate emergency relief packages provide important investments and underscore the unanimous agreement between both parties that America’s economic recovery will depend on the availability of child care to working families, they fall short of providing the amount necessary to stabilize the industry. As the Chamber of Commerce recently stated, “[w]ithout this industry’s survival and ability to safely care for the children of working parents, every other American industry will struggle to return to work.”

The recovery of our country depends on the stabilization of the child care industry, and we urge you to build upon the existing proposals by prioritizing more than $15 billion in funding for child care in the next emergency funding package. We appreciate the leadership you have shown in highlighting the needs of the child care system during this time and look forward to working with you to address the substantial relief needed to keep the industry afloat and to support working parents and their children. We hope to remain a resource as you work to prioritize child care despite an array of needs facing the American public as we continue to fight this crisis and enter a period of recovery.


America Forward
Bank Street College of Education
Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC)
Council for a Strong America(CSA)
Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC)
Educare Learning Network (ELN)
First Five Years Fund (FFYF)
Home Grown
KinderCare Learning Centers (KinderCare)
Ounce of Prevention Fund (The Ounce)
Save the Children Action Network (SCAN)

CC: The Honorable Steven Mnuchin
Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20220

The Honorable Mark Meadows
Chief of Staff
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

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