Child Care is a National Emergency

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On September 30, $24 billion in federal child-care stabilization funds made available through the American Rescue Plan Act are set to expire. Without Congressional action, close to 3.2 million children could lose their spots in early education programs, and 70,000 child care programs are likely to close. This will have ripple effects for parents forced out of work or to cut their work hours, for businesses who will lose valuable employees or experience the impact of their employees’ child care disruptions, and state economies that will lose tax revenue and jobs in the child care sector as a result.

Visit The Century Foundation’s interactive map tracking to see estimated kids set to lose child care, and child care centers expected to close in your state.


ECFC and philanthropy leaders and Raising Child Care Fund grantee partners are calling for action:


Federal funding for child care is about to fall off a cliff. Why that’s a disaster (Los Angeles Times, 9/26/23)

Rebecca Gomez, Program Officer, Education at the Heising Simons Foundation (and ECFC Steering Committee Member), discusses the impending expiration of ARPA funding, calls on Congress to act with urgency, and frames child care as essential infrastructure. The opinion piece highlights the work of several of Heising-Simons Foundation’s grantees, including The Century Foundation, the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment, First Five Years Fund, and Child Care Aware of America.


Child Care is a National Emergency, We Should Treat it Like One (Nonprofit Quarterly, 9/19/23)

Shannon Rudisill, ECFC Executive Director, and Elizabeth Barajas-Román, CEO of the Women’s Funding Network, discuss how women’s funds and early childhood funders have been at the forefront of directing resources to organizations leading the way in fighting for child care and other essential workforce supports for women and families.


This month, a Strategic Communications Publics Relations Consultant engaged by the Raising Child Care Fund (RCCF) hosted a national media call to pitch stories on the expiration of pandemic era ARPA funding for early childhood education. Several RCCF grantee partners attended the call including: Spaces in Action, Power Coalition, First Up, Mothering Justice, Parent Voices, ISAIAH, Ohio Organizing Collaborative, and Rattle the Windows.  Three articles resulted from the call addressing the impending crisis in RCCF grantee partner states:

What is the child care cliff? Its effect on families and caregivers, explained (, 9/20/23) “If funding goes away, parents are going to be looking at a loss of slots for their children in child care,” Karin Swenson, Meadow Park Preschool and Child Care Center, Rochester, Minnesota

Emergency child care funding is about to end. Expect more daycares to hike prices, close. (USA Today, 9/5/23) “We spent many, many years borrowing to make payroll because the math doesn’t add up in this industry. When the math no longer adds up and I go back to borrowing money to sustain this business, I won’t do it again. I won’t do it again. We’ll close.” Melissa Colagrosso, A Place to Grow Children’s Center, West Virginia

Funding Cliff Means Closure Or Tuition Hikes For Child Care Centers Across The U.S. (Romper, 9/9/23) “They are underpaid, under-resourced, and overwhelmed by the sheer amount of physical and emotional labor they’re performing for our families, and the end of pandemic era funding will only make things worse.” Tarezz Thompson, Ohio Organizing Collaborative

Photo credit: Child Care Cliff: 3.2 Million Children Likely to Lose Spots with End of Federal Funds, The Century Foundation

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