As the director of the Open Center for Children in Somerville, Sarah Sian is working through the logistics of reopening the child care center after being closed for months due to the pandemic.

When that happens, Sian said she will only be able to welcome back half of the students in order to comply with state safety regulations, meaning she will also be forfeiting 50 percent of the center's monthly revenue.

"We will begin operating again at a loss of tens of thousands of dollars every month. At that rate we will deplete our reserves and be at risk of closure in a few months," Sian said Tuesday on a call with other providers and parents.

That's where Congresswoman Katherine Clark comes in. Clark, who organized the call, said she was filing a bill to create a $10 billion grant fund to help day care centers pay for facility upgrades needed to reopen safely after their COVID-19 closures.

The Melrose Democrats said her Child Care Infrastructure Act is meant to compliment the Child Care is Essential Act, which was filed by Democrats including Clark and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren in May, to create a $50 billion fund to help day care centers pay for staff, personal protective equipment and other expenses tied to resuming operations.

Clark said child care was an "already fragile" system that has been "pushed to the breaking point" by the pandemic.

"We cannot let this system fall through the cracks and abandon women and children in the process," Clark said, adding, "Child care is part of the bedrock of our economy and it is a public good."


Original story here.