July 28, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52) voted to pass the Child Care Is Essential Act and Child Care for Economic Recovery Act. Both bills provide vital support for American families who depend on child care services and businesses in the child care industry that have suffered significant financial losses due to COVID-19.
Households in San Diego and across the country face a dire situation due to the widespread change in working conditions and the closure of schools and child care establishments. Without comprehensive investments in the child care industry, millions of parents will be unable to return to work. Although some providers have re-opened since the beginning of the pandemic, they are seeing increased costs to implement safety measures while also taking in decreased revenue. Almost a quarter of child care providers have lost their jobs.
“Access to quality, reliable child care has never been as important as it is now,” Rep. Peters said. “Supporting child care providers with the tools to safely reopen will relieve their financial strain, as well as the anxiety felt by parents and families who need to work to pay the bills.”
To remediate these challenges, the Child Care Is Essential Act will allow child care providers to safely re-open and operate. The bill creates a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund within the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. Grant awards are determined by providers’ pre-COVID-19 operating costs and adjusted so providers can make necessary accommodations due to the pandemic.
In addition, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act provides ongoing federal investments and tax subsidies to help bring quality child care within reach for families. The legislation invests $10 billion in infrastructure for child care safety, provides $850 million to support family care for essential workers, and increases funding for federal child care programs. The legislation also enhances the child and dependent care tax credit (CDCTC), expands the dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSA), and creates a new tax credit to help employees access quality and affordable child care.