With federal funding for child care providers from the American Rescue Plan set to expire at the end of the month, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced legislation to avert the looming child care cliff.
The impending drop-off in federal funding, which helps child care providers pay their rents and mortgages and hire and retain personnel, would lead to an estimated 3.2 million children nationwide and over 250,000 children in New York State losing access to child care. It would force over 5,700 child care centers across the state to close, forcing parents to cut their work hours or leave the workforce entirely and costing them $846 million in earnings as a result.
The Child Care Stabilization Act would provide $16 billion in mandatory funding to child care providers each year for the next five years.
“A shortage of child care providers in our state means that too many working parents have to make the impossible choice between going to work and taking care of their kids,” said Senator Gillibrand. “A sudden lapse in federal funding that forces even more providers to close would be catastrophic for New York families. Today, I’m announcing legislation to continue giving child care providers the support they desperately need, and I’m determined to get it passed.”
In March of 2021, the American Rescue Plan established the Child Care Stabilization Grant program, which provided roughly $24 billion for states to subgrant to child care providers across the country. This funding was crucial in helping more than 220,000 child care providers, including over 15,000 in New York, stay open and operational. Funding for this program expires at the end of the month, meaning that thousands of child care providers will face a sudden loss of funds. If these providers are forced to close and the parents that rely on them have to leave the workforce, parents nationwide are expected to lose nearly $9 billion each year in earnings. The Child Care Stabilization Act would extend the Child Care Stabilization Grant program and provide $16 billion in mandatory funding to child care providers each year for the next five years. The money will help ensure that providers can cover the cost of wages, benefits, rent, utilities, and supplies.