Childcare funding expires, putting millions of kids at risk

by Patrick Wilson

Millions of kids could lose their childcare spots after billions of dollars in emergency funding expired on Saturday.

The Child Care Stabilization Act, which would have prevented the funding lapse, was introduced in mid-September but has not been supported by Republicans. As a result, more than 3 million kids could soon lose their childcare spots, more than 70,000 childcare programs could be forced to close, and 232,000 childcare workers could lose their jobs.

Childcare advocates say the loss of funding will be devastating for families, particularly low-income families, and could cost the U.S. economy $9 billion a year in lost earnings. The end of the childcare grants will compound the damage done by the collapse of the pandemic-era safety net, which lifted tens of millions out of poverty in 2021.

Childcare costs vary across the U.S., but prices can be “untenable for families even in lower-priced areas,” warned a recent Labor Department analysis. The Century Foundation estimated that the impacts of the emergency funding lapse could cost U.S. families $9 billion a year in lost earnings, as many could have to leave the workforce or curb their hours to care for their children.

Childcare advocates are urging Congress to pass the Child Care Stabilization Act to prevent the loss of childcare spots and support families.

* This piece was created with the help of ai.