On Oct. 25, 2023, President Biden formally called on Congress to provide $16 billion in child care stabilization funding. If passed by Congress, this supplemental funding request would extend for a year the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding that kept 220,000 child care providers afloat, saved as many as 9.6 million child care slots, and saved more than 1 million early educator jobs during the COVID pandemic.
In response to this funding request, YWCA USA CEO Margaret Mitchell issued the following statement:
“President Biden’s request for $16 billion in emergency supplemental funding would provide a critical lifeline for working parents and child care providers all across the country.
The urgency of this funding request cannot be overstated. The ending of ARPA child care stabilization dollars on Sept. 30 (the child care cliff) threatens to shutter as many as 70,000 child care programs and eliminate child care for as many as 3 million children, translating into the elimination of a third of the nation’s child care capacity. Moreover, the combined impact of wages that lag behind other low-wage sectors and the slow recovery of the sector from the COVID crisis make it more difficult for providers to retain early childhood educators. This has exacerbated the child care supply crisis, disproportionately harmed women of color, and further burdened families desperate for care.
The ball is now in Congress’ court to provide stabilization funding that will address the urgent and immediate crisis while also laying groundwork for the sustained and transformative funding that will ensure high quality, affordable child care is accessible for all families. Congress must act without delay.”