Congressman Salud Carbajal (CA-24) joined a bicameral group of Democratic lawmakers to introduce the Child Care Stabilization Act to extend vital federal child care stabilization funding—which is set to expire at the end of this month—and ensure that child care providers can keep their doors open and continue serving children and families in every part of the country.
“This funding for child care has been critical to California providers and the working families that rely on them – and I’m committed to seeing Congress prevent this devastating funding cliff at the end of this fiscal year,” said Congressman Carbajal. “Child care is not just a family issue, it is an economic issue. The ripple effects of this expiration would be felt by small businesses, industries, and communities across our nation.”
When the pandemic pushed the already-fragile child care sector to the brink of collapse, Democrats in Congress responded by delivering historic federal investments to save the sector from collapse and prevent families from losing their child care spots—including $24 billion in child care stabilization funding.
The funding has made an enormous difference for families across the country—keeping 220,000 child care providers afloat over the last few years and saving child care slots for up to 10 million kids nationwide—but it is set to run out on September 30, 2023, threatening to once again push the sector to the brink, with dire consequences for families and our nation’s economy.
The Child Care Stabilization Act would prevent a potential crisis when funding expires at the end of the month by providing $16 billion in mandatory funding each year for the next five years to continue the successful Child Care Stabilization Grant program. This investment would ensure child care providers continue to receive a stable and reliable source of funding to help them deliver high-quality and affordable child care for working families across the country.
An analysis from The Century Foundation finds that if Congress does not provide additional funding for the nation’s child care sector, more than 70,000 child care programs—one-third of those supported by stabilization funding—could close, causing approximately 3.2 million children to lose their child care spots and jeopardizing jobs for 232,000 child care workers. The loss in tax and business revenue could cost states $10.6 billion in economic activity per year. Additionally, millions of parents will likely leave the workforce or reduce their hours, which could cost families an estimated $9 billion each year in lost earnings.
78 Representatives are original cosponsors of the legislation, including: Representatives Katherine Clark, Rosa DeLauro, Bobby Scott, Suzanne Bonamici, Jamaal Bowman, Jimmy Gomez, Sara Jacobs, Mikie Sherrill, Alma Adams, Becca Balint, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Shontel Brown, Julia Brownley, Nikki Budzinski, Cori Bush, Yadira Caraveo, Salud Carbajal, Troy Carter, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Yvette Clarke, Gerald Connolly, Angie Craig, Jasmine Crockett, Henry Cuellar, Danny Davis, Donald Davis, Veronica Escobar, Lois Frankel, Josh Gottheimer, Raúl Grijalva, Jahana Hayes, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Sheila Jackson Lee, Pramila Jayapal, Andy Kim, Annie Kuster, Greg Landsman, Barbara Lee, Zoe Lofgren, Stephen Lynch, Seth Magaziner, Kathy Manning, Lucy McBath, Jennifer McClellan, Betty McCollum, Morgan McGarvey, Rob Menendez, Gwen Moore, Jared Moskowitz, Kevin Mullin, Jerrold Nadler, Richard Neal, Donald Norcross, Scott Peters, Brittany Pettersen, Chellie Pingree, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Ayanna Pressley, Jamie Raskin, Deborah Ross, Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Andrea Salinas, John Sarbanes, Mary Gay Scanlon, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Terri Sewell, Mark Takano, Rashida Tlaib, Jill Tokuda, Paul Tonko, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Jennifer Wexton, Susan Wild, and Nikema Williams.
35 Senators are original cosponsors of the legislation, including: Senators Murray, Sanders, Schumer, Baldwin, Blumenthal, Booker, Brown, Cardin, Casey, Cortez Masto, Duckworth, Durbin, Fetterman, Gillibrand, Heinrich, Hirono, Kaine, King, Klobuchar, Luján, Markey, Menendez, Merkley, Murphy, Padilla, Reed, Shaheen, Smith, Stabenow, Van Hollen, Warnock, Warren, Welch, Whitehouse, and Wyden.
The Child Care Stabilization Act is endorsed by: National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), ZERO TO THREE, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Children’s Defense Fund, Save the Children, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), American Federation of Teachers (AFT), National Association for Family Child Care, Child Care for Every Family Network, Family Values at Work, Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, MomsRising/MamasConPoder, Oxfam America, All Our Kin, Community Change Action, Prevent Child Abuse America, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO, Small Business Majority, First Focus Campaign for Children, Parents Together Action, Prevent Child Abuse America, United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN), YWCA-USA.
“The entire country depends on child care. The clock is ticking. Congress must act before stabilization grants expire on September 30,” said Lorella Praeli, Co-President at Community Change Action. “The situation will worsen when another round of ARPA funds for child care expire in 2024. If Congress doesn’t act now, child care slots will disappear, child care providers and parents will be at risk for losing their jobs, and there will be more instability in every facet of our lives. As always women, especially women of color, and our kids will be hit the hardest. Our families, youngest kids, and the childcare workforce need a lifeboat. These grants saved nearly 10 million child care slots and protected more than 1 million child care jobs. The choice to pass the Childcare Stabilization Act should be easy.”
“The Child Care Stabilization Act is the lifeline that our child care programs need,” said Fatima Goss Graves, President and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center. “Without the emergency funding in this bill, millions of families will be left either without child care or forced to pay even more for these services, which will wreak havoc on our families, communities, and the economy overall. I urge all members of Congress to do right by families and pass this bill into law without delay.”
“The initial childcare stabilization funds were a lifeline for entrepreneurs working to keep their doors open during the pandemic,” said John Arensmeyer, Founder & CEO, Small Business Majority. “These funds proved critical for small business childcare providers, as well as small employers struggling to maintain their workforce. Allowing these childcare investments to expire will disrupt the entire small business community, disproportionately impacting under-resourced and rural small businesses. We proudly support the Child Care Stabilization Act, which will allocate the funding needed to stave off the looming childcare crisis while supporting working parents and small business owners alike.”
“Our nation’s child care system is on the verge of collapse and after years of underinvestment, and the stress of the pandemic, millions of working families will be left with few or no options for quality child care. This is not a situation where we can or should simply accept that fate,” said AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler. “Working people need solutions and lawmakers must come together immediately to take action and pass the Child Care Stabilization Act now.”
“Investments in the child care sector during COVID led states to make critical improvements in child care affordability, access, and support to providers. But that progress is at risk unless Congress provides additional funding,” said Indivar Dutta-Gupta, President and Executive Director at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP). “Without added resources, we will further exacerbate long-standing inequities in the child care system and compromise positive improvements. We welcome the Child Care Stabilization Act as an essential solution that would prevent working families from losing access to care and allow states to continue building toward a system that really works for children, families, and providers—and the economy as a whole.”
“The Child Care Stabilization Act would help families across the country escape some of the most devastating impacts of the child care cliff and extend a lifeline to parents and providers,” said Julie Kashen, Director of Women’s Economic Justice and Senior Fellow at the Century Foundation. “We know how important it is for children and families, not to mention our economy, to have reliable, affordable child care in every community—and to pay the people who do that vital work a living wage because without them, there is no child care system. I am grateful for Senator Murray, Chairman Sanders, Leader Schumer, Representatives Clark and DeLauro for their leadership on this bill and their partnership in fighting for federal child care investments that our children and their families need to thrive.”
“The Child Care Stabilization Act is direly needed by families all over the country, to protect the child care of three million children and keep 70,000 child care providers open,” said Nicole Jorwic, Chief of Campaigns and Advocacy at Caring Across Generations. “We deserve to live in a country where children and caregivers have community, support, and fully funded solutions for all their care needs. Supporting the Child Care Stabilization Act and investing in a better child care system will help millions access the care they deserve, provide good child care jobs, contribute to family stability and financial security, and benefit the economy.”
“The $52 billion in pandemic-era federal supplemental funding helped hundreds of thousands of child care educators, including family child care educators and small business owners, keep their doors open and serve working families with high-quality, flexible care in recent years,” said Jessica Sager, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of All Our Kin. “If these resources are allowed to expire without any sort of remedy, millions of children and their families around the country will lose access to care, as many of these small businesses will be forced to close. The Child Care Stabilization Act would ensure families, especially those from low-income backgrounds, have access to care for their families, and therefore the ability to stay in the workforce. Our leaders must step up and ensure children and families have access to the crucial high-quality early education opportunities that are key to their development and empower them for success later in life.”
“American families are already feeling the pinch of rising costs. Unfortunately, when federal funding for child care runs out this month, parents are going to be forced to pay more or cut back at work, hurting families and our economy,” said Sondra Goldschein, Executive Director of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “The Child Care Stabilization Act would stave off the worst impacts of the child care funding cliff and make sure working families have the tools and opportunities they need to build a good life. We’re thankful to those who have championed this critical legislation and urge Congress to send it to the president’s desk.”
“Now is not the time to play politics with our children’s futures. When the COVID childcare stabilization funds expire, this nation will go over a childcare cliff that will see 3.2 million children lose their child care and 70,000 child care centers closed,” said Josephine Kalipeni, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work. “We are at a pivotal moment in this nation’s history. Will Congress make permanent investments in child care to show working families they value them and their contributions? Or will they refuse to act, displaying a cowardice that will cost children, their families, and the economy? Care work is everyone’s work. We demand that all of our legislators promote care in policy and practice; that they demonstrate the power of care by prioritizing the needs of children and working families. The Child Care Stabilization Act is a strong first step to prevent the childcare cliff, but we also need the creation of a stronger social support network that ensures that all of the resources needed to take time to care––including paid leave with job security and progressive wage replacement, and affordable childcare–are available to all. We call on all political leaders to take action. This is an issue that impacts all families–no matter how they vote, where they work, or where they live.”
“YWCAs around the country can attest to the disastrous consequences child care providers and the families they care for will face if Congress fails to invest the resources needed to avert the child care cliff and stabilize funding for this essential sector of our economy and our communities,” said Margaret Mitchell, CEO of YWCA USA. “Child care providers are the backbone of our economy, and it is time we recognize their value by swiftly passing the Child Care Stabilization Act.”
“The Child Care Stabilization Act will ensure that the most vulnerable families across the country can continue to access critical child care services, without interruption,” said Javier Martínez, Managing Director of National Policy, Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors. “The risk of more than 3 million families losing child care overnight will reverberate throughout the economy and result in unspeakable hardship to American families, far and wide.”
“Access to high-quality childcare is a significant stressor for parents of young children across our country,” said Melissa Merrick, President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse America. “This is especially true for families with less access to resources. The Child Care Stabilization Act will ensure that childcare is available to more parents so they can stay employed without the worry of their children being nurtured and cared for.”
A one-pager on the Child Care Stabilization Act is available here.