Elizabeth Warren is not going to be president, but that doesn’t mean she’s not still filling her Medium account with actionable plans aimed at pulling our wheezing country out of financial ruin. In her latest, she and fellow senator Tina Smith of Minnesota published a plan to set aside $50 billion of the next relief package for childcare providers.
Child care workers, the senators point out, have found themselves in an impossible position of either risking their health by working during the pandemic, or closing their doors and losing their incomes. As they put it,
“Here’s the stark truth: when the time comes, we will not be able to rebuild our economy if this country’s child care system has collapsed beneath the economic burden of this pandemic. When the economy can start to safely get back on track, millions of parents will not be able to return to work or reopen their own small businesses if they cannot find safe, affordable, and reliable care for their children. And if child care providers must close their doors for months, we risk permanently reducing the supply of child care in this country.”
Under the CARES Act, Congress provided only $3.5 billion in emergency funding to child care, despite it being a $99 billion a year industry employing more than two million workers.
The money would be spent in three main ways: Providing emergency funding to those still caring for the children of essential workers; aid to keep all staff on providers’ payrolls during closures; and longterm investments to shore up the industry in the future.
“We have only two options as a country: we can either do what is needed to stabilize the child care system, or we can watch child care providers collapse, one by one in our communities, leaving families with fewer options and hamstringing our economic recovery,” the senators write.
“We have a bold plan to save child care and ensure that it can be an active engine in our economic recovery. We are prepared to fight in Congress to save this system from collapse and strengthen it for the challenges ahead.”