Child care is the backbone of our nation’s economy; without it, millions of parents cannot go to work or attend school, and the U.S. economy suffers billions of dollars in losses. The spread of COVID-19 threatens this system on multiple fronts, as nearly 2 million early childhood educators are trying to effectively and safely care for and educate children, meet the needs of families, protect staff, and cover all of the expenses required to keep their doors open. Child care programs in every state already operate on razor thin margins and teeter on the edge of financial health. Issues that may appear temporary—for instance when children are absent and providers are not reimbursed, or when programs have to pay substitutes to cover for sick staff members—could cause widespread permanent closures and result in catastrophic impacts on children, families, businesses and our economy in the short and long term.

Attached is a letter signed by over 35 national organizations requesting robust flexible funding for child care and early learning as part of a COVID-19 stimulus package.