NWLC Leads Nearly 1,000 Child Care Providers & Advocates from all 50 States in Sounding the Alarm on Urgent Need for Emergency Child Care Funding

Washington, DC – The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) today led nearly 1,000 child care providers and advocates from all 50 states, including more than 100 national organizations, in calling on Congress to immediately pass $16 billion per year in emergency child care funding. This letter represents the largest push yet to pressure Congress to save the child care system from a catastrophic funding cliff once billions of dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) expire on September 30.

NWLC, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), and other national groups have calculated that $16 billion per year is needed to prevent a looming child care crisis that will raise prices for families and place enormous strain on child care programs, which are already struggling to stay afloat among severe staffing shortages, low wages, and rising costs.

The letter, which was signed by 981 advocacy organizations representing millions of people and early educators across the country, notes that the ARPA dollars that saved the child care system during the pandemic also allowed states to make long-deferred investments to their child care assistance systems. These investments have helped more families access affordable child care and improved wages for early educators. However, this progress will likely vanish once federal funds dry up and leave states’ child care systems even worse off than before.  

“Even before the pandemic, families struggled to find and afford care, early educators made poverty wages, and over half of counties were child care deserts, without sufficient supply of child care,” the groups wrote. “If Congress fails to act, it will leave the child care industry even worse off than its pre-pandemic precarity”

The full letter and a complete list of signers can be found here.