Our Continuing Child Care Crisis

Finding available and affordable childcare remains a huge challenge for caregivers around the US, and the situation has recently worsened thanks to expiration of Federal pandemic era supports for the childcare industry.  Those funds, which expired in September, provided as much as $24 billion to nearly 220,000 childcare providers across the US.

That is a big hole to fill, and it’s going to take a mix of solutions to both address short-term funding gaps and begin addressing the longer-term problems.  Federal, state, and local leaders are seeking to respond.  In DC, the Biden Administration is seeking to sustain the child care stabilization fund programs, and a rare bipartisan group of legislators is seeking to expand the childcare tax credit.  Meanwhile, a number of states (AK,CA, DC, IL, KY, MA, ME, MI, Nh, NM, VT, and WA) have passed major new revenue boosts for local childcare providers.  New Mexico has even enshrined a right to childcare in its state constitution.

These state actions are welcomed, but insufficient.  Childcare remains one of the biggest challenges facing American families and it will require large-scale national-level solutions.  It will also require that more of us get engaged in this effort.  Economic developers must view childcare as essential infrastructure that is essential in the community building process. I’ve covered this topic in past newsletters and will continue to raise the alarm. As these debates move forward, watch this space for more on local and regional solutions to the childcare crisis.