Huron Daily Tribune: Sen. Gary Peters supports child care funding
Child Care is Essential Act would be part of next coronavirus relief package
Michigan Senator Gary Peters announced his support for new legislation aimed at ensuring that child care providers would have resources to maintain safe operations.
The Child Care is Essential Act would provide $50 billion in a new Child Care stabilization fund within the already existing Child Care and Development Block Grant program. It would be included in a future coronavirus relief package if passed.
This new fund would provide grant funding to child care providers to stabilize the child care sector and support them to safely reopen. The grants will help providers and families by:
• Adequately supporting providers’ operating expenses
• Requiring that providers continue to pay their staff
• Providing tuition and copayment relief for working families
• Prioritizing centers in underserved communities
• Promoting health and safety through compliance with public health guidance
• Ensuring grants are awarded equitably across child care settings
“Many child care centers in Michigan are struggling to keep their doors open or reopen or are operating with a reduced enrollment, and many working families are facing financial and child care challenges because of this pandemic,” said Sen. Peters in a statement. “To reopen our economy and for parents to return to work, we must address the child care crisis confronting us, while prioritizing the health and safety of children and child care workers.”
According to reports from the Center for American Progress, nearly 4.5 million child care provider slots are in danger of disappearing nationwide. Michigan would stand to lose 121,264 slots, or 41% of its total, and force more competition for the remaining slots without federal assistance.
The Child Care Development Block Grant was part of the original coronavirus relief package passed by Congress in March, with $3.5 billion allocated to provide temporary aid to child care providers.
The state of Michigan has provided child care providers with grant funds to help cover costs during the pandemic and up to date information and answers to questions for providers under the coronavirus resources page of www.michigan.gov.
By: Robert Creenan
Source: Huron Daily Tribune
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