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Early Learning and Care in Proposed COVID-19 Response

Resource September 30, 2020

Recognizing the essential role of child care — its proven benefits to a child’s learning and healthy development and its support of America’s labor market and economy by allowing parents to work or attend school — the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic has included assistance to young children, their families, and the child care providers who care for them.

The CARES Act provided funding for existing federal programs that support the care and education of young children, however, the devastating impact of the economic crisis on the child care industry has made it clear that significant and dedicated assistance will be needed if the child care industry is to survive.

This resource compares proposals introduced to address this reality. While the approaches vary, notably, all of the proposals would offer financial assistance to providers to help them continue to operate, including coverage of staff’s full salaries and benefits and relief from copayments and tuition for parents, as well as to reopen safely. Some proposals would also facilitate essential workers’ access to child care and prioritize access to care for low-income families and others who, even before the pandemic, struggled to find and afford high-quality care.

This resource will be updated as new proposals are introduced.

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