See how COVID-19 puts children in crisis
Every morning for the past two weeks I have been waking up to wondering what impact this COVID-19 crisis will have on my child's life, along with our entire country. My partner and I juggle our work schedules (like so many parents and caregivers!) The best we can as we try to give it some semblance of normalcy. But more than ever, I am grateful for the loving care my child usually receives while we work.
That is why it pains me to tell you that we are a nation at the threshold of losing more than half (yes, read this right – MORE THAN GENDER) of our childcare programs Unless there is significant public investment from Congress soon and support.
→ SIGN NOW to tell Congress to include childcare funding in the next aid package to ensure the stability of our childcare system so that parents and caregivers have childcare to return to when this crisis is over!
The situation is critical. As child care centers close to child protection and the communities they serve, the further spread of COVID-19 virus, families across the country are at risk of permanent loss of child care, which is critical to providing their youngest children with the enriching care they need to thrive while parents and carers work.
Every day we hear from mothers that childcare is making the huge crisis even worse. Frontline health workers like Maya in California who wrote to us to say: "I'm a single mom and I'm a PH. So, with this pandemic, I was desperate for childcare because my daughter's daycare was closed, but I still had bills. Also, they put on our breathing masks at work. Which is scary. "
We also hear from early educators who lose much needed income when caring for their own families, like Carrie in Wisconsin who shared: "I lose hours of work because of COVID-19. I work in childcare. I am the mother of 7 children. I lose $ 250 every 2 weeks " and Krista in Ohio who shared "I am a Montessori teacher at a local private kindergarten so I am out of work and without benefits or I am paying now. HELP! "
And mothers like Rebecca in North Carolina are paying for childcare despite the loss of income because they worry they will lose space, "Unfortunately, I'm a hired worker … but working from home is not an option … The rent is still due on the 1st. After all, we will need food again. I have no one to provide childcare. I have to continue to pay for day care .. Even if we are not there to keep our sons in place. Neither mine nor my husband's job offers me advantages. I'm not sure what to do at this point."
These families are struggling (like so many at the moment), but childcare is no longer necessary to be part of this crisis. Congress has the power to stabilize the childcare system before things get worse, but they need to hear from YOU!
Families are struggling now and will continue to struggle even after this crisis has passed, if we do not act now. Parents and carers need protection, such as paid sick days and paid family and medical leave for all child care needs and preventing loss of employment. While the $ 3.5 billion in CCDBG and small business loans included in the CARE Act will begin to help alleviate this crisis, families also need support through this childcare crisis, and childcare is an industry of $ 99 billion, which even during a strong economy, works in very thin fields.
The magnitude and extent of the impact of this public health crisis on the childcare sector is deep and growing. In the next aid package, we call on Congress to make a minimum of $ 50 billion in investments in our childcare system, which would:
- Eliminate payments or fees and charges to "save space" for families during this crisis and ensure that providers continue to pay the full amount for the enrolled slot.
- Pay childcare providers to cover their current operating costs when closed, so that their financial security – and that of working teachers – is not compromised.
- Provide higher levels of compensation – hazard pay – for childcare providers and caregivers serving children of frontline workers or working longer hours.
- Purchase supplies for suppliers who cannot afford or even find supplies on their own (especially sanitary materials such as hand and gloves disinfectants)
- Provide training and medical assistance to childcare providers on health and safety response practices available in all relevant languages.
** Urge Congress to provide at least $ 50 billion in childcare funding to ensure the stability of our childcare system so that parents and caregivers have childcare to return to when this crisis is over!
It is more important than ever to speak. Too often, people think of childcare as a "personal problem" – as our problem to solve.
But this crisis has made more clear than ever that we already knew that we cannot continue to expect families and caregivers to take responsibility for childcare themselves. If people are unable to return to work after the end of this crisis, it will harm us all and adversely affect the ability of our communities to rebound.
We know that many people in your network are coping with this same stressful struggle, so follow you sign our letter, send this email to your friends and family and don't forget to post our action link FacebookThe more people take action and speak out, the greater the profile of this problem will be – so much information comes through the airwaves and into Congress that we have to break through.
It is time for Congress to take action on childcare and together we can raise our voice to make sure they do.
Our elected staff are overwhelmed with information at the moment, but we need them to sit down and pay attention to our child care needs before it's too late. One way to do this is to directly share the child care story / situation with them. Can you tweet members of Congress and share your childcare story (even if it's just a short sentence)? You can find their twitter handles here and use #FundChildCare so we can find you on Twitter. (You can also tag us at @MomsRising).