Today, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan which delivers support to working parents and targets nearly $3.8 billion in pandemic relief to California child care providers. This essential workforce, predominantly women of color who care for the children of frontline workers, have seen their small businesses decimated by the pandemic. Child Care Providers United (CCPU), the union representing California’s 40,000 subsidized child care providers, released the following statement from Miren Algorri, a second generation provider from San Diego:
“Following a year of sounding alarm bells in California through socially distanced in person and virtual actions, and months of calling on our members of Congress to invest in frontline workers, we want thank President Biden and congressional leaders for hearing our voices and responding with bold action to ensure child care providers can continue to care for the children of these frontline workers and support California’s economic recovery.
“These funds come at a critical moment — after 6,000 providers have already closed their doors and those of us who remain are struggling to keep up with mounting debts after taking on increased costs for cleaning, PPE, and technology to support remote learners. Child care providers are essential to California’s recovery, but we won’t be able to support frontline workers much longer if the state of California does not deliver these funds in days, not weeks.
“California’s child care providers came together in our union with a vision to build the early education and care system California needs to give every child a bright future. California must now support us by deploying the federal relief needed to stabilize our system so we can look toward the future. No one expected the devastation of the past year, but we know that we will emerge in a stronger position to meet our goals and achieve equity because we’ve stood together in our union to support each other and the families we serve through the worst time of our lives.”