Child care plays a pivotal role in supporting children and their families, our greater communities, and the economy at large. Americans overwhelmingly believe that child care is a vital part of our lives and our economy. Child care is essential for so many families to be able to return to work, and their budgets are already being strained because of this virus. We have to ensure that all child care providers are able to open when it's safe to do so, so families can get back to work as soon as they're able to.
As we plan for reopening, there are a number of policies we should consider to address the financial stability, supply, and health and safety measures needed to support child care as it recovers from the first wave of the outbreak and prepares for a potential resurgence of the virus. The policies in the short term should consider the following recommendations:
- Provide dedicated, targeted funding to bolster and grow the child care supply.
- Compensate providers to ensure safe environments now and moving forward.
- Support families struggling to pay the costs of child care during and after the pandemic subsides.
- Support and protect early childhood educators who have continued to work through the public health crisis.
- Reinstate health and safety rules and regulations without delay.