The COVID-19 pandemic has both exacerbated our childcare crisis and pushed lawmakers in both parties to mount efforts and help parents in need of childcare services even further. Since July, both parties are working hard to address the needs of this industry.
On July 27, 2020, the Senate introduced the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections, and Schools - HEALS Act, which includes a $15 billion in investment in childcare: $5 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and $10 billion for Back to Work Child Care Grants. Following the suit, the House of Representatives passed the Child Care Is Essential Act, a $50 billion fund bill to provide grants to pay for costs associated with opening and running childcare facilities during the pandemic and the Child Care For Economic Recovery Act, a $10 billion in funding to help childcare providers reopen and improve their safety. The last two are in the Senate for consideration.
The Back To Work Child Care Grants Act of 2020 was also introduced in the Senate on July 21, 2020, and it would provide dedicated economic assistance to stabilize the childcare industry and resources to childcare providers amid the COVID-19 crisis. This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process, and will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.
Although many of these bills weren't enacted as a law yet, it is undeniable that childcare is gaining some momentum. In addition to the government, the private sector is also paying attention to this industry. We at Arvorie have seen an increasing number of companies offering childcare benefits to their employees to maintain productivity, attract diversity and to retain talent — especially women, because the bulk of caregiving falls on them. The bottom line is that investing in childcare is good for the economy. We knew it before and now it’s evident for everyone.