“Childcare Cliff” Puts Millions at Risk

1 min read
September 25, 2023
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As the end of September draws near, a significant challenge is rising for America’s working families: the prospective termination of crucial federal childcare support, leading America to the edge of a “childcare cliff.”


  • COVID-19 Insights: During the pandemic, Congress was forced to recognize the essential nature of a robust care infrastructure. As a result, they committed an unprecedented $52 billion, providing childcare support for over 3 million children and securing countless jobs in the sector.
  • Tick-Tock: But this essential support is under threat. $37 billion of these funds are set to evaporate on September 30th, risking a substantial blow to families and the broader economy.

Deep Dive:

  • Immediate Threats: The stakes are high with the depletion of the $24 billion pandemic relief from President Biden’s 2021 American Rescue Plan. Beyond maintaining childcare centers, the bigger picture is preventing a skyrocketing cost for millions of parents.
  • By the Numbers: The Century Foundation predicts states like Maryland and Texas will face losses of $241 million and $775 million, respectively, in earnings.
  • Future Projections: They also anticipate a potential closure of 70,000 childcare programs, affecting over 3 million children.

Wisconsin Leads the Way:

Why It Matters:

  • Economic Implications: The impending “childcare cliff” threatens more than family stability. State economies stand to lose, with the Century Foundation estimating a loss of $10.6 billion in annual economic activity across states.
  • Political Landscape: With the 2024 elections on the horizon, childcare may become a significant electoral issue.

What’s Next:

  • Legislative Horizon: The Child Care Stabilization Act, introduced both in the Senate and House, could offer relief, aiming to channel $16 billion over the next five years.
  • Support on the Ground: Organizations like Family Values at Work ardently back the bill, pressing Congress for swift enactment.
  • The Broader Issue: As companies push employees back to the office, combined with soaring childcare costs, the U.S. may face a further dip in birth rates. The message is resounding: a sustainable childcare solution is imperative for the nation’s future.

The Bottom Line: The pending childcare crisis necessitates immediate action. Both the immediate livelihoods of families and the nation’s long-term prospects are at stake.

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