U.S. Rep. Jahana Hayes (D-5) says "$100 billion" in federal funding is needed to support a nationwide child-care industry that has been ravaged from the pandemic.
In a May 12 news release, Hayes of Wolcott and five Democratic House colleagues stated that $50 billion is required in the form of short-term stabilization. and $50 billion in long-term recovery funding to support students, families and providers.
"Even before this pandemic, over 44 percent of people in Connecticut lived in a child-care desert," stated Hayes.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR.) stated the pandemic is "causing widespread layoffs and mandatory closures."
Hayes stated, "After conversations with child-care providers in my district, I know that this problem is going to get worse and only a fraction of the providers in our state will be able to survive this crisis. We need to ensure that these critical services - which make it possible for parents to return to the workforce and children to grow and thrive, are stabilized and supported."
In a phone interview, Brookfield First Selectman Steve Dunn said that "the state and federal governments are grappling with this. You can't go back to the way things were. There are questions about safety with 15 to 20 children in a small area. It is not reasonable to have three year-olds maintain social distancing."
"As businesses reopen, parents are going to need a place for their children to be during the hours that they are working," he added.
During a May 13 online news conference, Hayes, a former teacher at Kennedy High School in Waterbury who was the national teacher of the year in 2016, said she was pleased that the $3 trillion Heroes Act included $7 billion for child care coverage, but there "is more work to do."
The Heroes Act was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 15 by a narrow margin with some moderate and progressive Democrats voting against it and only one Republican supporting it.
Among other things, the proposal would provide more aid to states and municipalities and direct assistance to taxpayers.
Republican President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have expressed opposition to the legislation. Larry Kudlow of Redding, the director of the National Economic Council, told ABC News' "This Week" on May 10 that the White House is "collecting ideas" and that no action on further stimulus will likely be taken until at least early June.
The bipartisan CARES Act, which included $2.2 trillion in stimulus, was approved and signed into law on March 27.
Also quoted in the news release in addition to Hayes and Bonamici were U.S. Reps. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) Danny Davis (D-IL) Tom Malinowski (D-NJ) and Katherine Clark (D-MA)- the vice chair of the House Democratic caucus.
Original story here.