TO THE MEMBERS OF THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
Thirteen million Americans rely on the childcare sector to care for and educate their young children while they work. Without this industry’s survival and ability to safely care for the children of working parents, every other American industry will struggle to return to work. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce appreciates the attention Congress is giving to this critical issue, but urges lawmakers to quickly find a bipartisan, bicameral path forward that is targeted and timely.
The Chamber believes any successful childcare legislation should include several crucial elements:
- Issuing recovery grants directly for childcare providers to re-open. Congress must provide emergency assistance targeted to licensed childcare providers to help the childcare sector emerge from the pandemic.
- Establishing a robust, flexible stabilization fund for states and providers. Funding should be available to meet unanticipated needs, ranging from increased expenses associated with implementing safety measures preventing the spread of COVID-19 to offsetting lost revenue due to following public health guidance. In addition, funding should be allowed for the bulk purchase of PPE.
- Ensuring expeditious distribution of funds. The application process for financial relief should be as simple as possible, and the disbursement of funds should not create unnecessary burdens or costs to providers.
- Ensuring that funding includes adequate grants for licensed home-based childcare. These critical, very small businesses should not be overlooked in legislation.
Congress can produce a win for working families and the businesses where they work. We urge you to reject partisan, fringe efforts at legislation in this area when so much common ground is shared.
Neil L. Bradley