AUSTIN (KXAN) — Millions of kids, including 305,976 in Texas, are at risk of losing childcare by September 30 when the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act expires, according to an analysis by the Century Foundation.
“Congress has to act quickly to resolve the immediate funding crisis for childcare,” said Jamie Bussel with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a non-profit that says it’s the Nation’s Largest Health Philanthropy.
The Foundation is calling on Congress to extend the federal funds to help childcare providers who have relied on the money from the ARPA to pay rent, lower tuition rates for families and increase wages for workers.
“More than 3 million children are going to lose access to childcare, over a quarter million of the childcare workforce will lose their jobs. And it’s estimated 70,000 childcare facilities will actually close,” said Bussel. “This has an incredibly significant impact if this funding is not extended.”
Bussel stressed low-income families may struggle the most if the funds expire and suggests long-term solutions are needed.
“The lowest income families are actually paying almost a third of their total income to childcare today and that is far higher a percent than families in any other income brackets,” explained Bussel.
“Many families also are relying on the more informal childcare settings, family, friend, neighbor care that Congress also needs to ensure that home based providers are eligible for federal funding and require companies maybe that receive federal grants to provide childcare for their workers.”