Mucarsel-Powell's $50 Billion COVID Fund For Child Care Providers Passes House As Part of Comprehensive Child Care Package
Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) voted to pass H.R. 7027, the Child Care is Essential Act, a comprehensive child care package that includes legislation authored and introduced by the congresswoman, which would create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization fund and invest in child care so that providers across Florida have the personal protect equipment (PPE) and resources needed to safely operate. Making the adequate investments in the child care industry will ensure that families across the country will be able to return to work.
"My constituents have told me that safe and COVID-free child care is essential for them to be able return to work, and this legislation is part of ensuring that is so," said Mucarsel-Powell. "I'm extremely proud that my legislation is one step closer to becoming law and will allow child care facilities in South Florida and across the country to apply for federal grants to purchase PPE, cleaning materials, and other supplies needed to keep children and staff healthy and safe. Without federal support for the industry, Florida could lose 419,633 licensed child care slots, approximately 56% of the state's child care supply, but the $3.1 billion that would go directly to Florida because of this bill would help child care providers stay open, keep employees on payroll, and safely operate under new guidelines. I urge the Senate to act quickly to pass my piece of legislation and do what's necessary to safely reopen and rebuild our economy. I will continue advocating for the federal resources necessary to combat this virus in our state."
The Child Care is Essential Act includes:
Stabilization grants for personnel costs, sanitation and cleaning, training and other goods and services needed to maintain or resume operation of the child care program.
Support for child care workers. This bill requires employers to keep child care workers on payroll at the same compensation level as pre-COVID as a condition of receiving stabilization grant funds.
Support for working families by requiring providers to relieve families of copayments or tuition.
Promotion of health and safety through compliance with public health guidance. Under this legislation, open providers would be required to meet health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local authorities.
A summary of the Child Care Is Essential Act is here. The full text of the bill is here.