Scott, Finkenauer, Coons, Murray, Bicameral Group of Colleagues Urge HHS, CDC To Offer COVID-19 Guidance to Child Care Providers

With a third or more of child care facilities nationally at risk of closing permanently due to COVID-19, lawmakers urge CDC to offer guidance and assistance amid reopening plans

WASHINGTON – House Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby Scott (D-Va.), and Representative Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa), Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Senate HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.), along with led 87 of their colleagues on a letter to the Office of Child Care at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requesting more detailed public health guidance to support the child care sector during and following the COVID-19 public health emergency.

Center- and family-based child care providers across the country have highlighted the lack of federal guidance on how to effectively implement the CDC’s public health recommendations. While states like Delaware have stepped up to support child care providers during this difficult time, the lack of federal guidance remains a source of concern for the child care sector. The lawmakers asked for detailed federal guidance on how to assist child care providers with implementing the CDC’s public health recommendations, while also maintaining high quality child care and providing developmentally appropriate instruction for children. A strong, timely, and coordinated federal response can address the needs and concerns of child care providers across the nation, so they can reopen with the confidence that their business can survive for the long-term.

“The child care industry is at risk of collapse.  A Bipartisan Policy Center nationwide survey reported in April that 60 percent of the child care facilities and family child care providers in the United States had to close their doors because of COVID-19 and, for 30 to 50 percent these providers, the closures will remain permanent.   As more families across the country transition back to work and increasingly rely on child care, it is essential that the existing child care industry receives comprehensive guidance and implementation assistance so that providers are able to meet public health recommendations, protect the health and safety of both families and their workers, and continue to provide high quality and developmentally appropriate care for children,” wrote the lawmakers.

In addition to Representatives Scott and Finkenauer, the letter was signed by Representatives Frederica Wilson (D-Fla.), Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), David Trone (D-Md.), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-N.J.), Joe Morelle (D-N.Y.), Terri Sewell (D-Ala.), Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.), Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Susan Davis (D-Calif.), Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), Susan Wild (D-Pa.), Katherine Clark (D-Mass.), Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), Kim Schrier, M.D. (D-Wash.), André Carson (D-Ind.), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Tom Malinowski (D-N.J.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Katie Porter (D-Calif.), Dwight Evans (D-Pa.), Jesús "Chuy" García (D-Ill.), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-N.J.), Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.), Gil Cisneros (D-Calif.), Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.), Lauren Underwood (D-Ill.), Jahana Hayes (D-Conn.), Mark DeSaulnier (D-Calif.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Lucy McBath (D-Ga.), Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), David Price (D-N.C.), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Fla.), Jim Langevin (D-R.I.), Diana Titus (D-Nev.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), Deb Haaland (D-N.M.), José Serrano (D-N.Y.), Joaquin Castro (D-Texas), Andy Levin (D-Mich.), Haley Stevens (D-Mich.), Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), Conor Lamb (D-Pa.), and Filemón Vela (D-Texas).

In the Senate, in addition to Senators Coons and Murray, the letter was signed by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.).

The letter is also supported by the March of Dimes, American Academy of Pediatrics, Child Care Aware of America, National Women’s Law Center, Committee for Hispanic Children & Families, Center for Law and Social Policy, National Black Child Development Institute, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children. A broad coalition of over 40 child care facing organizations has endorsed the child care guidance letter.

To read the full text of the letter, click here


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