March 06, 2021

Warren, Smith Successfully Secure $40B For Child Care & Early Learning in Senate COVID-19 Relief Package

With $40B in Latest Package and Earlier Relief, Senators Make Good on Push to Secure $50B to Shore Up Nation's Child Care System; Help Providers & Families

WASHINGTON, D.C.-Today, United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) successfully secured more than $40 billion for child care and early learning resources in the Senate-passed COVID-19 relief package.

With the funding from the package passed today, $10 billion from the December-passed relief bill, and the $3.5 billion provided in the CARES Act, Senators Warren and Smith have made good on their push to secure $50 billion for child care.

"Right now, child care providers are struggling to keep their doors open while a pandemic and economic crisis devastate a system that was already deeply broken," said Senator Warren. "Senator Smith and I have been fighting for a $50 billion child care bailout since April - this bill finally gets us there and gives us a solid foundation as we look toward building a child care system that works for every family."

"We've known that our country's childcare system is on the brink of collapse, and that women are bearing the brunt of the cost," said Senator Smith. "My colleague Senator Warren and I have been pushing to support the childcare system, and we've been determined to get this over the finish line. We outlined our vision for $50 billion in childcare relief just less than a year ago, and with this latest package we've made good on our plan. We've been resolute in this effort because it is essential to keep families, providers and our economy afloat."

The legislation passed today-the American Rescue Plan-will provide more than $40 billion for child care and early learning via:

  • $15 billion to the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, which provides for expanded eligibility for essential workers regardless of their income;
  • $24 billion to Child Care Stabilization Funding, mirroring the activities outlined in the Child Care is Essential Act; and
  • $1 billion for Head Start
  • $3 billion in new mandatory funding for child care programs.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, Senators Warren and Smith have been calling for immediate support for the child care industry:

  • In August, Senators Warren and Smith called on Senate leadership to prioritize the inclusion of their plan for a $50 billion child care bailout in the next COVID-19 relief package.
  • In May, Senators Warren and Smith joined Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Bobby Scott (D-Va.), and Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), in introducing the Child Care is Essential Act, which would create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund within the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program.
  • In April, Senator Warren and Representative Khanna (D-Calif.) called for essential workers to be among the beneficiaries of child care investments in the introduction of their Essential Workers Bill of Rights.
  • In a New York Times op-ed published in July, Senator Warren reiterated the need to secure child care funds and also called for "long-term investments so more families can find affordable, high-quality, and safe care in the future."
  • In April, Senators Warren and Smith announced their plan for a $50 billion child care bailout.
  • In March, Senators Warren and Smith led their colleagues in urging Senate leadership to include support for the child care sector in the COVID-19 relief package that became the CARES Act.