Parents worried about financial burden as federal childcare funding ends
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A significant chunk of federal funding for childcare is set to expire in a couple of months and that’s causing worry among parents struggling to afford childcare.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, states were granted $39 billion in emergency funding to support families and childcare providers.
That funding will expire at the end of September leaving many parents to worry about losing childcare.
South Carolina was provided $273 million in childcare and development block grant money and $437 million in childcare stabilization grant funding through the American Rescue Plan in March 2021. The childcare stabilization funding is set to expire on Sept. 30.
Money through that grant allowed families who didn’t classify as low income to receive assistance in paying for childcare.
Still, two years later parents like Chantelle Mitchell find themselves in a tough spot.
“So even though it may feel like two years is enough, you’ve got to think about so many families that have been impacted,” Mitchell said. “And how even though after a two-year hit, they’re still trying to get caught up.”
Daycare facilities may also suffer from the ending of federal assistance and the state won’t be able to support as many families.
“Over time, if there’s not additional funds from the state or federal government, we will see states scaling back in who they provide assistance to,” National Women’s Law Center Director of State Child Care Policy Karen Schulman said.
Congress can still decide to renew the funding but no official announcements have been made.
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