As the September 30 deadline approaches, the child care sector braces for the expiration of the pandemic-era funding which has sustained it for the past two years.
With more than half of the U.S. population residing in “child care deserts,” the potential fallout from this financial cut could result in the elimination of 70,000 programs and a loss of over 3 million child care spots, warns The Century Foundation.
This federal backing, known as the $24 billion Child Care Stabilization Program, benefited more than 220,000 child care programs, affecting up to 9.6 million children. The funds helped providers cover essential costs and enabled parents to work with the assurance of dependable child care.
Experts say many child care centers will be forced to shut down without the funding. The broader implications of these program closures could extend to the U.S. economy as parents are forced to reduce work hours or entirely leave their jobs to care for children.
Furthermore, it is projected to result in a $10.6 billion annual loss in economic activity across states.
While both Republican and Democratic politicians acknowledge the urgency of the child care situation, passing a sustainable solution has remained elusive.
States have been devising individual methods to counteract the potential fallout, but it may not be enough.
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