Title: Child Care Is Essential Act
Vote to pass a bill that establishes and appropriates $50 billion for the Child Care Stabilization Fund to award grants to child care providers during and after the COVID-19 coronavirus public health emergency.
Appropriates $50 billion to the Payments to State for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program to carry out the Child Care Stabilization Fund grants program (Title I).
Requires the lead agency to make subgrants to qualified child care providers, and the amount of such a subgrant to such a provider to (Title I, Sec. 1):
Be based on the provider’s stated average operating expenses during the period before March 1, 2020, or before the provider’s last day of operation for a provider that operates seasonally, and at a minimum cover such operating expenses for the intended length of the subgrant;
Account for increased costs of providing or preparing to provide child care as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as provider and employee compensation and existing benefits and the implementation of new practices related to sanitization, group size limits, and social distancing;
Be adjusted for payments or reimbursements made to an eligible child care provider to carry out the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act; and
Be adjusted for payments or reimbursements made to an eligible child care provider through the Payment Protection Program of the Small Business Act as amended by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Requires a lead agency for a state that receives a child care stabilization grant to reserve no more than 10 percent of such grant funds (Title I, Sec. 1):
To administer subgrants made to qualified child care providers, including to carry out data systems building and other activities that enable the disbursement of payments of such subgrants;
To provide technical assistance and support in applying for and accessing the subgrant opportunity to eligible child care providers either directly or through resource and referral agencies or staffed family child care networks;
To publicize the availability of subgrants and conduct widespread outreach to eligible child care providers, group home child care providers, and other non-center-based child care providers and providers with limited administrative capacity;
To carry out reporting requirements; and
To carry out activities to improve the supply and quality of care during and after the COVID-19 public health emergency, such as conducting community needs assessments, carrying out child care cost modeling, making improvements to child care facilities, and increasing access to licensure or participation in the state’s tiered quality rating system.
Requires the child care provider to submit an application to a lead agency in order to be eligible to receive a subgrant, which must include (Title I, Sec. 1):
A good-faith certification that the ongoing operations of the child care provider have been impacted as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency; and
An assurance that for the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency:
The provider will give priority for available slots to children of essential workers, children of workers whose places of employment require their attendance, children experiencing homelessness, children with disabilities, children at risk of child abuse or neglect, and children in foster care;
The provider will implement policies in line with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the corresponding state, tribal, and local authorities, and in accordance with state, tribal, and local orders, for child care providers that remain open, including guidance on sanitization practices, group size limits, and social distancing;
For each employee, the provider will pay full compensation, including any benefits that were provided to employees as of March 1, 2020, and will not take any action that reduces the weekly amount of the employees’ compensation; and
The provider will provide relief from copayments and tuition payments for the families enrolled in the provider’s program, and prioritize such relief for families struggling to make either type of payment.
Title: Child Care Is Essential Act