CONGRESSMAN MORELLE CALLS FOR RELIEF FOR CHILDCARE PROVIDERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19
(Rochester, NY) — Today, Rep. Joe Morelle released a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urging him to enable providers of childcare services and early childhood education to access critical resources and relief through the recently enacted CARES Act.
“Childcare providers are not only a critical asset to families across our community, they are the backbone of our economy,” said Congressman Morelle. “It is imperative that we take action to ensure these facilities have the resources and support they need to stay afloat during these challenging times. I urge Secretary Mnuchin to take immediate action to enable childcare providers to access the relief my colleagues and I secured as part of the CARES Act, and to prioritize the long-term support of this essential sector as we move forward.”
“Over the past 5 years, New York State lost 12,152 child care facilities. With the pandemic now, the Center for American Progress’ recent analysis estimates that roughly half of NYS child care capacity is at risk of permanently disappearing: 176,000 licensed child care slots,” said Larry Marx, CEO, The Children’s Agenda. “ While Gov. Cuomo has rightly designated child care an ‘essential business,’ and the CDC’s recommendations for reopening state that ‘the first priority is to reopen community settings where children are cared for,’ the President and Congress have yet to act with the funding necessary to ensure child care remains an option for families going back to work. The Children’s Agenda applauds Congressman Morelle for his leadership on the issue.”
“Child Care Council commends Congressman Morelle for continuing to be a child care champion as he clearly relates the reality of our current pandemic crisis to the survival of the child care industry,” said Barbara-Ann Mattle, CEO, Child Care Council Inc. “During this crisis, the child care system is integral to the functioning of all other essential services. It is my hope that when business returns to normal, the federal government will realize that child care as an industry is also an integral part of our country’s economy and, as such, requires ongoing support.”
The childcare sector is collapsing due to the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis — major child care providers have experienced an approximate 75% drop in attendance due to state and local stay-at-home orders, resulting in closures of about 65% of programs. In fact, some of the largest providers have experienced an 85% to 90% decline in enrollment. Without assistance, many childcare providers will be forced to close for good, leaving families with nowhere to turn and leading to a significantly slower recovery for the U.S. economy.
The full letter is below.