Boston Globe – Child-care providers, whose shoestring survival has been tested by the pandemic conditions of the past year, are not only getting a belated lifeline from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan but also a sudden show of appreciation for their essential role to the economy.
The beleaguered Massachusetts child-care system is expected to reap more than $500 million, according to the office of Representative Katherine Clark, the assistant speaker of the US House, including money that can be used to stabilize budgets, hire additional staff, or boost pay for overworked employees.
William J. Eddy, the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of Early Education and Care, called the investment a “game-changer,” and said it “will just give a jolt to our system.”
Massachusetts’ private day-care providers have received almost no government help to survive the pandemic, save any paycheck protection act loans they were able to obtain. Until now, state government directed the limited federal aid available to providers who care for children with government-subsidized care. (The state only recently began offering all providers personal protective equipment and COVID testing.)
In the meantime, many providers have buckled under the burdens of COVID-era care and constraints. According to the Department of Early Education and Care, 922 family child-care providers and 450 child-care centers have not reopened.