On March 11, 2022, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra hosted a virtual roundtable with child care providers to discuss the impact that the passage of the Biden-Harris Administration’s American Rescue Plan has had on the child care industry.
The group discussed the necessary investment in child care during the pandemic to keep provider services available. Child care services have been one of the hardest hit areas due to the pandemic.
- Cassandra Brooks, Little Believers Academy (North Carolina)
- Paula Gorman, Temple Beth Shalom Preschool(New Mexico)
- Kathleen Tostado Kenshur, California Family Child Care Network (California)
- Carolina Reyes, Arco Iris Bilingual Children’s Center (Maryland)
- Sasha Shunk, Shunk Child Care (Maine)
- Katie Hamm, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development (ACF)
Participants highlighted how instrumental ARP was this past year. ARP provided $39 billion in relief funds for child care with the goal of supporting working families by offering consistent, stable, and affordable access to child care; promoting equity for children, families, and child care workers and providers; and providing livable wages and benefits for early childhood educators and providers. The roundtable was also a chance to celebrate the largest single federal investment into child care for working families and spotlight the ways in which ARP funds allowed providers to remain open.
This discussion builds on both Secretary Becerra’s and the Biden-Harris Administration’s longstanding commitment to invest in early childhood. Secretary Becerra shared:
“When the pandemic hit, child care programs stayed open to serve essential workers and keep our communities strong. But many parents still struggled to find and afford child care. They were stuck, forced to choose between keeping their paycheck and caring for their children. This pandemic has pushed families to the brink,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “A year ago, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan, which delivered $39 billion in child care relief funds—the largest investment in child care in our history. These new resources are already making a difference. More than 157,000 child care providers have benefitted from the child care stabilization grants, impacting as many as 7 million children. But we still have work to do. If we work together, we can end the child care crisis and give families the support they deserve.”