05.12.20

Gardner Joins Bipartisan Push for More Support for Child Care Providers

Gardner joins group of Republicans and Democrats to call on the Senate to bolster assistance for child care workers and providers in the next phase of COVID-19 relief

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) joined U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and 18 of their Republican and Democratic colleagues in calling on the Senate to provide additional support to child care workers and providers across the country.

In the letter to Senate leadership, the senators write: “…it is critical we provide additional support for the child care sector to ensure providers can maintain operations and continue to meet the needs of essential workers, and remain viable going forward as our country moves towards economic recovery.”

The bipartisan group of senators continue: “Even before COVID-19, one of the most common concerns we heard from parents, especially in rural areas, was the struggle to find child care. The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly worsening this situation and has led to a significant reduction in revenue for child care providers as many parents are now staying home with their children. Without additional support, the coronavirus will exacerbate child care deserts and eliminate what few options families have, even after the crisis. Americans in every state rely on child care centers. If a large portion of our nation’s providers are forced to permanently shut down, parents in all industries will be unable to return to work, significantly slowing our economic recovery as businesses begin reopening.”

The full letter is available here and below:

Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer:

We write today regarding our nation's child care providers. As Congress considers additional relief for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical we provide additional support for the child care sector to ensure providers can maintain operations and continue to meet the needs of essential workers, and remain viable going forward as our country moves towards economic recovery.

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Congress provided much-needed relief to many child care providers and workers, namely through the Paycheck Protection Program and a boost to the Child Care and Development Block Grant. While we are thankful for these actions, we remain concerned that child care providers will be unable to weather the storm without additional relief.

In many states, child care providers have been forced to close their doors. Other child care providers are continuing to operate, despite financial losses, to provide support to parents, especially our essential workers. America's frontline health care workers and first responders, grocery store clerks, bank tellers, pharmacists, and other essential workers need our support to continue caring for our nation and navigate these difficult times. Quality, affordable child care is vital to essential workers with families.

Child care centers that remain open must also uphold their commitment of providing a safe place for children. During a health care crisis, this means taking extra precautions to clean facilities, provide sanitation tools, ensure workers have personal protective equipment if necessary, and take other measures to maintain or resume operations.

Even before COVID-19, one of the most common concerns we heard from parents, especially in rural areas, was the struggle to find child care. The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly worsening this situation and has led to a significant reduction in revenue for child care providers as many parents are now staying home with their children. Without additional support, the coronavirus will exacerbate child care deserts and eliminate what few options families have, even after the crisis. Americans in every state rely on child care centers. If a large portion of our nation's providers are forced to permanently shut down, parents in all industries will be unable to return to work, significantly slowing our economic recovery as businesses begin reopening.

The CARES Act provided much-needed relief for child care providers and families across the country. As Congress considers the next round of relief legislation, we urge leadership to build on its efforts to provide more support for child care so we can effectively serve the needs of essential workers in the short term, and ensure that parents can return to work as our economy recovers.

Thank you for your consideration and for your leadership during this crisis.

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Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy.