Stevens Introduces Legislation to Support Child Care Providers

May 27, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Haley Stevens (MI-11), along with Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Congressman Bobby Scott (VA-03), Chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and other House and Senate Members, introduced new legislation, the Child Care is Essential Act, to create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund within the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. As businesses begin to re-open and working families need child care, many providers across the country remain shut down or are operating with significantly reduced capacity. Child care providers that are able to stay open are struggling to cover their increased operating costs with limited revenue, and many are at risk of permanent closure.

The new Child Care Stabilization Fund would provide grant funding to child care providers to stabilize the child care sector and support providers to safely reopen and operate. These grants would help child care providers and working families by:

  • Ensuring that the grants adequately support providers’ operating expenses and funding gets to them quickly;
  • Requiring that providers continue to pay their staff;
  • Providing tuition and copayment relief for working families;
  • Promoting health and safety through compliance with public health guidance;
  • Prioritizing providers that serve underserved populations;
  • Ensuring grants are awarded equitably across child care settings; and
  • Conducting oversight through robust reporting requirements.

“Child care providers in Michigan and across the country are facing serious challenges, with many providers shut down or operating well under capacity for the duration of the pandemic,” said Congresswoman Stevens. “We need these businesses to stay afloat, both to provide safe and affordable child care for frontline workers right now and to ensure that child care services will be available to families as our economy reopens. I have called on House Leadership and the Trump Administration to provide the necessary financial support to protect the child care sector from total devastation. I am proud to join my House and Senate colleagues to introduce the Child Care is Essential Act, which will establish a new Child Care Stabilization Fund to help struggling child care providers weather this economic downturn.”

Earlier this month, Congresswoman Stevens sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy calling on Congress to establish a Child Care Stabilization Fund, similar to what was funded for the K-12 system as part of the CARES Act, to provide dedicated assistance that meets the unique needs of child care providers.

In April, Congresswoman Stevens sent a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, asking the U.S. Treasury to work with the Federal Reserve to make federal assistance available to struggling child care providers.

A one-page summary of the Child Care is Essential Act can be found here.