April 29, 2020

Backed by Large Group of Senate Colleagues, Warren and Smith Press to Include $50 Billion Child Care Bailout in Next Coronavirus Relief Package

Senators Say Their Plan to Save Child Care Indispensable Part of Nation's Response to Pandemic

Text of Letter (PDF)

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) led 29 of their Senate colleagues in calling on Senate leadership to include their plan for a $50 billion child care bailout in the next coronavirus relief package, saying it is indispensable part of the nation's response to the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Senators Warren and Smith unveiled their plan to stabilize the child care system, keep providers in business, and ensure parents are able to go back to work when it is safe to return. A recent report revealed that without adequate support, Massachusetts could lose 34 percent of their child care supply and Minnesota could lose 55 percent. And now, Senators Warren and Smith and their fellow senators are calling on Senate leaders to prioritize this funding in the next relief package, as well as making sure small businesses and nonprofits involved in caring for children receive support from the Small Business Administration's (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program.

"We write to strongly urge you to prioritize funding childcare in the next legislative package that responds to the public health and economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic and emergency," wrote the senators. "While the $3.5 billion for childcare included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was an important first step in helping to fund childcare for frontline healthcare workers and other essential employees, since its passage, we have only learned more about the extent of closures required by this pandemic and the dire situation that childcare providers are in, which necessitates additional relief.  Accordingly, we urge you to provide at least $50 billion in emergency funding in order to stabilize the entire childcare industry, provide childcare for essential workers including healthcare workers, and invest in childcare for our long-term economic recovery."

The letter to Senate leaders was also signed by Sens. Robert P. Casey, Jr. (D-Pa.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.).

Senators Warren and Smith first sent a letter to Senate leadership on March 21 and published a Medium post about their plan for a $50 billion child care bailout on April 15. Following their post, an analysis estimated that at least $9.6 billion is needed each month to preserve the nation's child care system during the coronavirus. The need for at least $50 billion in child care funding was also echoed by a broad coalition of child care advocates nationwide, you can access the full list here.

You can access a copy of the letter sent today here.