A “child care cliff” is looming as federal funding is set to expire by the end of this month to keep tens of thousands of daycare centers open nationwide.

Those grants went into effect for the pandemic, but when the money runs out, that cost of childcare could be passed on to families.

“When this funding goes away, families will probably see higher prices,” said Laura Valle-Gutierrez, fellow at The Century Foundation.

Childcare advocates are worried about federal funding that’s set to expire on September 30 for daycare centers across the country.

These grants kept those programs open during the pandemic, but when they expire, 70,000 childcare centers will be forced to close nationwide, according to the Century Foundation.

Valle-Gutierrez says that funding mostly goes towards hiring and retaining quality daycare workers.

“Some providers also used it to make sure that their higher operating costs with inflation didn’t get passed on to families, so some families haven’t seen rate increases over the past couple of years and that’s because these grants were helping meet that gap,” said Valle-Gutierrez.

The Century Foundation has been breaking down the numbers state by state, and found in Massachusetts more than 56,000 children would lose their childcare if the nearly 2,000 daycare centers close with that lack of funding.

But luckily, state lawmakers just approved $475 million in grants to fill those gaps in its latest budget.

“I think the state funding should make a difference and hopefully prevent a lot of those impacts from coming,” said Valle-Gutierrez.

Massachusetts Congresswoman Katherine Clark also just co-sponsored the Child Care Stabilization Act Wednesday to allocate $16 billion in funding for the next five years to keep those programs open nationwide.

Childcare advocates hope Congress passes this soon since without that funding, families and daycare centers won’t be the only ones impacted.

Businesses could feel the burden too at an estimated loss of $10.6 billion in revenue per state each year according to the Century Foundation.

“When a child care program closes and a parent can’t go to work that day, that’s going to be a cost to the business or when a parent has to quit their job and the business has to hire someone new, those turnover costs are factored into those estimates,” said Valle-Gutierrez.


Original story HERE