Editor’s note: This article includes CLASP estimates on child care relief funding each state, D.C., and Puerto Rico will receive of the $39 billion included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP Act)
For decades, our country has had a child care crisis fraught with inequitable access for communities of color, unaffordable care for far too many families, poverty-level wages for early educators, and razorthin margins for providers. This long-term crisis has been exacerbated by the devastating, inequitable impacts of COVID-19.  And it has pushed the child care and early learning sector to the brink of collapse.
Now, thanks to passage of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the child care sector will receive a total of more than $50 billion in direct relief funding. This bill, based on President Biden’s bold American Rescue Plan, provides $39 billion in desperately needed child care relief funding. This builds on critical down payments on relief from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021  to finally deliver on the promise of at least $50 billion in total to support the children, families, and early educators who rely on and support the child care and early learning industry.
Of the $39 billion included in the American Rescue Plan Act (ARP Act), nearly $15 billion will provide expanded child care assistance through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to support families and providers, including supporting the child care needs of essential workers. The remaining nearly $24 billion creates a stabilization fund for eligible child care providers, including those who haven’t previously received funding through CCDBG. Administered by state lead agencies, these funds can support providers who are currently operating or are closed for COVID-related reasons, as well as supply-building activities. These funds can stabilize child care programs by covering a range of expenses such as personnel costs, rent, facility maintenance and improvements, personal protective equipment (PPE) and COVID-related supplies, goods and services needed to resume providing care, mental health supports for children and early educators, and reimbursement of costs associated with the current public health emergency.
Click here to read the entire article by Alycia Hardy and Katherine Gallagher Robbins.