FFYF has joined dozens of other child advocacy organizations in a letter to Congress requesting “significant attention to and investment in the child care and early learning sector” as part of any legislative action to support families and industries affected by the public health crisis resulting from the spread of COVID-19.
From the letter:
“We urge Congress to provide significant and flexible emergency funding that will allow child care and Head Start programs to weather this growing public health and economic crisis, and preserve the nation’s supply of family child care and community-based child care programs. In previous recovery packages, Congress has recognized the importance of early childhood education programs to the nation’s economy by providing dedicated funding for child care and early learning programs, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), Head Start, and Early Head Start, helping to stabilize these critical programs. We recommend Congress move quickly to make similar direct investments this year to secure the future of children and families in our country.”
Among other recommendations and considerations, the letter calls on Congress to provide robust flexible emergency funding to help families and providers address the impacts of COVID-19. Allowable uses of this funding should be based on what providers and parents need in their community, and should at a minimum include:
- Providing direct assistance to programs based on enrollment, not attendance;
- Providing payments to programs and workers in the case of COVID-19 related closures, including back-up care;
- Providing payments to programs to continue to serve children when parents or caregivers experience an inability to make co-payments or pay tuition;
- Covering the cost of substitute educators; and
- Purchasing additional supplies or services necessary to keeping centers and homes safe and sanitary and provide necessary training for staff in all relevant languages.
Read the full letter online here and below.