High-quality facilities and strong early care and education (ECE) programs promote the health and safety of our children and teachers. Emergency funding for ECE providers – including the facilities they call home – is more important than ever. The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the critical value of ECE for our families and our economy. Local, state and federal governments have identified child care for frontline employees as an essential service alongside health, utilities and food delivery systems.
Given the potentially devastating consequences for our nation’s families and ECE providers as the pandemic closes centers and providers lose revenue, LIIF is advocating for at least $50 billion in emergency relief for the ECE sector. And as co-chair of the National Children’s Facilities Network (NCFN), LIIF has joined with partners to urge Congress to include emergency funding in its future stimulus response to cover operating expenses, infrastructure and business capacity building needs of ECE providers.
Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act in late March. It provided various resources to support ECE providers facing unprecedented challenges, including:
– $3.5 billion in emergency funding to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG),
– $750 million in emergency funding to Head Start, and
– $349 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which offers forgivable loans to small businesses – including ECE providers – that keep employees on the payroll.
The initial $349 billion in PPP resources was depleted on April 16, and initial data suggests that few ECE providers were able to access relief through the program. Responding to the demand, Congress enacted an additional $310 billion in PPP resources on April 24, including a set-aside of $30 billion for community-based lenders with assets under $10 billion. CDFIs are explicitly included as eligible lenders under the set-aside.
These emergency investments in CCDBG, Head Start and small business relief are an important down payment that will allow ECE providers to access critical cleaning and sanitation supplies, continue to pay teachers while programs are closed and provide child care services to essential workers throughout the crisis. LIIF is proud to be able to provide emergency relief to these critically needed small businesses. Read more about our relief efforts in New York City, the San Francisco Bay Area and Washington, DC.