In September, parents and caregivers watched as we approached the cut-off for pandemic-related government funding for childcare coming to an end. Over 3 million kids’ childcare placements hung in the balance. Now, since the date has come and gone without resolution, Biden announced last week his request for Congress to intervene.
Specifically, he requested $16 billion in child-care funding, which would be distributed to all 50 states and the District of Columbia, to stabilize the 225,000 providers who are set to be negatively impacted by funding changes, Washington Post reports. As childcare centers wait for additional funding, 1 in 3 face closure, with the potential to cause upheaval for parents’ day-to-day necessities to continue working.
For some, parents are already having to find backup plans and speak to their kids about changing daycare centers. For others, it’s worth a conversation with your childcare providers to see if they are at risk of closure or major cuts, in addition to asking about potential changes in tuition to accommodate the budget cuts.
And, like many other issues with society, moms might be more adversely affected than others. Researchers are suggesting that cost and lack of childcare are behind the majority of parents, especially moms, choosing to leave the workforce.
If Biden’s funding request is approved, which matches what Democrats had asked for last month, the funding would range from $15 million for states like Wyoming up to $1.8 billion for larger states like Texas. Meanwhile, Biden also recently granted $131 million to higher ed institutions to assist with campus childcare programs for parents who are students. Now, parents will watch for Congress’s response in the coming days.