The child care industry is calling on Congress to include $50 billion in relief in its stimulus package to keep the sector afloat after the coronavirus pandemic has drastically impacted daily attendance at facilities.
Without immediate relief, more than half of licensed child care facilities in the U.S. could close, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC).
Child care has lost about 70 percent of daily attendance, and providers may have only a week until they have to close, in some cases permanently.
“We are calling on Congress to take swift and immediate action to stabilize an essential yet economically fragile industry,” NAEYC CEO Rhian Allvin said in a statement. “In order to stabilize this field, continue to provide essential services for families who need it, and be prepared to support the workforce after this crisis, we are requesting up to $50 billion in emergency stimulus funding.”
Child care providers join a long list of industries looking for stimulus relief as the coronavirus takes a heavy toll on the U.S. economy.
The airline industry last week initially requested $50 billion in relief, and Boeing requested $60 billion. Other industries, like the candy industry and the alcohol beverage producers, asked for a portion of these requests — $500 million and $5 billion, respectively.
The NAEYC and ECEC also predicted that more than half of the early childhood education workforce, which is comprised of two million workers, could end up unemployed.
Like the child care industry, all advocacy groups are pressing Congress to move quickly on a stimulus package. But Democrats and Republicans are still divided over a deal, and Senate Democrats blocked on Sunday a massive GOP stimulus bill after talks reached a standstill.
Senate Republicans are pushing to include a $500 billion fund, which would be operated by the Treasury Department, to help struggling industries. Senate Democrats are pushing back against the fund because it would allow Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks Former Treasury secretaries tried to resolve debt limit impasse in talks with McConnell, Yellen: report Menendez, Rubio ask Yellen to probe meatpacker JBS MORE to decide which companies get money and how much for up to six months.