Rep. Gil Cisneros Rep. Gil Cisneros

Rep. Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.) wants to see additional funding to help the childcare industry in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. 

In early May, Cisneros sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to invest a total of $100 billion to aid in the relief, recovery and revitalization of the childcare sector. In the letter, Cisneros and other members outlined a proposal that would provide $50 billion in the form of short-term stabilization funding and another $50 billion in long-term- recovery funding to support students, families and providers. 

“Right now, our essential workers and their families depend on child care as they continue to serve our communities. Yet our child care sector has been hit hard by the pandemic, causing many providers to shut down their businesses and lay off workers,” said Cisneros in a statement. “When our country opens back up and parents return to work, we will need this critical service even more. Congress must provide the necessary relief and investment in our child care sector and help families and businesses across the country.”

Like many industries, the childcare sector has been hit hard by the pandemic. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, 60% of licensed child care providers have already closed due to COVID-19. Another survey by the National Association for the Education of Young Children shows that only 11% of U.S. childcare providers will survive without some form of government support. 

According to Cisneros’ office, the first $50 billion short-term investment would help sustain providers that have been forced to close due to COVID-19, and would fund emergency care for 6 million children of essential workers. 

The second installment of $50 billion would expand current funding and tax credits to support families and students while also creating new grant programs for child care infrastructure and workforce development. 

Under the proposal, the financial burden of child care would be reduced for families by reauthorizing the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program, creating competitive infrastructure grants to support renovation and new construction of child care facilities in areas of the country hit hardest by the pandemic. It would also enhance the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.