Washington’s lawmakers have numerous options to help strengthen our state’s child care system, according to a new report by the Child Care Collaborative Task Force. The options include financial relief for child care providers, support for working parents and ways to offer health insurance to providers who do not have it.
Child care has always been crucial to Washington’s economy, and now, as the arrival of new vaccines allow us to begin to recover from the devastating economic impacts of the pandemic, it is more important than ever. Yet the child care system in Washington and across the country has been particularly hard hit by COVID-19. Last year, up to 24% of licensed child care programs were closed. Currently, 14% of our licensed providers are closed, some of them permanently.
“This year, we have seen the child care industry demonstrate its value and resilience despite an inherently flawed model. Child care delivers a public good through, primarily, small businesses that cannot charge customers (working families) the price necessary to cover costs associated with the essential service provided. High-quality child care promotes healthy childhood development, lets parents go to work and helps employers retain talent and maintain productivity. Families, employers and our state’s economy recovery require a stable and multifaceted child care industry with options to meet families’ varying needs.” ~ Child Care Collaborative Task Force “2020 Child Care Policy Recommendations: Modeling the Cost of Quality, Improving the Working Connections Subsidy Program & Supporting Workforce Compensation and Development” report
You can read the Task Force report here.