Following the introduction of the HEROES Act by House Democrats to further respond to the coronavirus crisis, leading advocates expressed deep disappointment in the failure to properly support America’s struggling child care system.
Following the introduction of the HEROES Act by House Democrats to further respond to the coronavirus crisis, leading advocates expressed deep disappointment in the failure to properly support America’s struggling child care system. ZERO TO THREE, the nation’s leading nonprofit dedicated to ensuring babies and toddlers have a strong start in life, criticized the caucus for offering significantly less than needed to sustain the child care market so that quality care is available when parents across the country return to work.
“We are deeply disappointed that the House Democratic Caucus talked the talk but failed to walk the walk for our nation’s babies and toddlers on child care,” stated Myra Jones-Taylor, Chief Policy Officer at ZERO TO THREE. “While there are positive steps forward on issues including rental assistance, food and nutrition assistance, and home visiting, this package is woefully inadequate to keep our struggling child care programs alive. It threatens both the short-term ability of families to get the safe, quality care they need for their children and the long-term stability of the system as a whole, preventing the future recovery of our entire economy. If House Democrats want to advertise themselves as being child care champions, it’s time for them to start acting like it.“
The Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, would provide $3 trillion in relief for Americans struggling amid the coronavirus pandemic. ZERO TO THREE, our partners, and families across the country have consistently called for at least $50 billion to support the child care industry, with experts stating that at least $9.6 billion per month is needed to support and stabilize the system. With just $7 billion set aside for child care in the relief package, the amount provided would fail to cover even one month of the industry’s needs.
Other items of note in the package include:
- $100 million for home visiting, which ZERO TO THREE was the first organization to call for;
- $10 billion and $1.1 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) respectively in food and nutrition assistance to help children and families struggling with hunger;
- $100 billion for rental assistance, a key factor in helping parents and caregivers provide a stable home for children;
- $40 million for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention and child protection to provide support for families facing increased stress due to social isolation, economic uncertainty, mental health concerns, or fear of falling ill.
To read Dr. Jones-Taylor’s April op-ed discussing the need for Congressional support for child care, click here.
To learn more about how COVID-19 is impacting child care providers, click here.
To learn more about recommended considerations for infants and toddlers in emergency child care for essential workers, click here.
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/zerotothree, or follow @zerotothree on Twitter.