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Attorney General Josh Stein Urges U.S. Senate to Increase Child Care Funding

For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today called on the United States Senate to provide at least $50 billion in the next federal stimulus bill for child care providers struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Right now, families across the nation are struggling to balance doing their jobs with caring for their children,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Child care providers play an essential role in our communities, and we need them to be open when this pandemic is over. If providers don’t get the funding they need to stay open, we’ll lose critical small businesses and place even more financial burdens on families already struggling during this pandemic. I urge the Senate to include these funds in the next federal relief package.”

In a letter sent to Senate leadership today, Attorney General Stein and a coalition of 22 attorneys general called on Congress to provide funding to address the immediate needs of child care systems around the country. Because of the pandemic, many child care providers are operating at reduced capacity or have closed, leaving them with little to no revenue to cover payroll, rent, insurance, and other fixed costs. This additional financial support would help providers fulfill their financial obligations so that they are not forced to close permanently. It would also help cover essential duty pay for educators and reduce the financial burden on families.

Studies indicate that just 16 percent of providers could survive a closure of more than one month, and only 11 percent could survive a closure of indeterminate length without government intervention. Recent estimates predict that without adequate federal support, nearly 4.5 million child care slots across the country are at risk of disappearing.

The coalition also expressed support for broader reforms to our child care system. The attorneys general argue that our child care system suffers from a broken model, where “parents pay too much and educators make too little,” and that the current pandemic has exacerbated already existing disparities in race, income, and gender in our childcare workforce. The letter insists that “[t]o build a more equitable society beyond this current crisis, we need structural reform that ensures every family has access to quality, affordable child care and educators earn the pay that they deserve.”

Attorney General Stein is joined in sending today’s letter by the Attorneys General of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

A copy of the letter is available here.

More on Attorney General Stein’s work to protect North Carolinians during the COVID-19 pandemic:

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