In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, child care providers—home-based and center-based, large and small— are facing tough decisions about how to do what’s best for the families they serve, their own families, their workers, and their businesses. Providers have been hit hard by the crisis, even as they’re desperately needed right now. Many were in precarious financial situations even before this crisis as they struggled to meet demand and the rising costs of providing high-quality care. Small centers and home-based providers experience unique obstacles. Child care workers face insufficient wages and benefits—supports for them are needed now more than ever.

Although there is no one-size-fits-all solution, this fact sheet—published jointly by the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality (GCPI) and NWLC—offers information to help providers navigate tough decisions that may involve trade-offs between the immediate financial needs of their staff and the long-term viability of their businesses. The first section outlines financial support programs available to help cover providers’ business expenses. In some cases, more than one option may be available and desirable. The second section explores the financial supports available to help workers who see their hours cut or are laid off.