Harder, Caballero, Galgiani Ask SBA to Support Local Childcare Centers
WASHINGTON – Representative Josh Harder (CA-10) and California State Senators Anna Caballero and Cathleen Galgiani have written a letter to the Small Business Administration (SBA) asking the agency to take more deliberate actions to support childcare centers in the Central Valley through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The loss of these centers disproportionately disadvantages women, who are more likely to have lost their jobs during the Coronavirus Pandemic. Without assistance, many of the 100,000 centers that have had to temporarily close will be forced to lay off their workers or remain permanently closed.
“You can’t go back to work if you don’t have a safe place for your kids to stay – and if our childcare centers struggle to reopen it will mean more people out of work,” said Rep. Harder. “SBA has been fast and loose with the PPP money we provided them – they need to focus on helping actual small businesses – especially those we need to safely reopen.”
“At this critical moment as people reenter the workforce, after months of sheltering in home from the COVID-19 pandemic, we need the Small Business Administration to ensure that Paycheck Protection Program funds are being disbursed first to small businesses that need the help the most, including child care services and providers,” said Senator Anna M. Caballero (D-12). “Every type of small business has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. In every community, families that rely on child care programs and services faced a new reality of providing those services from home themselves. As the economy reopens and people return to their work place, these same families will need to rely on child care to ensure that their children are safe and cared for during the work day. These child care programs and service providers need to receive the Paycheck Protection Program funds expeditiously from the SBA in order to assure that working families that they care for can return to work, with their children cared for in a safe environment. This is imperative in order to revive California’s economy as quickly as possible.”
The text of the letter is below and an original copy is available here.
Dear Administrator Carranza,
We write today in regards to the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) recent commitment to disclose the recipients of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and to advocate how vital it will be to ensure that the recipients of these funds reflect the small businesses critical to reopening our economy, such as child care programs and providers. Without this support, the country is likely to see a continuation of troubling trends surrounding the availability and affordability of childcare.
Childcare options are one of the key missing links for parents returning to the workplace as states begin to reopen across the country. Parents looking for child care options in the Central Valley and across the nation will see an estimated 4.5 million fewer child care slots due to the pandemic and a closure of nearly sixty percent of the country’s child care programs. More than 100,000 child care providers have closed their doors due to the pandemic and of those that stayed open, eighty-five percent have reported operating at less than fifty percent capacity. These trends adversely impact women workers, especially as they are more likely to have lost their jobs due to the pandemic. If women are unable to find a child care provider, it may be increasingly difficult for them to get back into the workforce, limiting our economic recovery at a time when we’re encouraging workers to safely re-enter the workforce.
The pandemic has exposed the unique challenges faced by childcare programs and providers. With the increased expenses to operate during and after quarantine and severe reductions in attendance, more childcare providers will be out of work. Less childcare providers means less options for working parents. The purpose of the PPP program, as created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is to assist critical small business operating throughout the pandemic and to make sure they can keep their workers paid. Now more than ever it’s vitally important to ensure that childcare programs and providers can access these funds, keeping employees hired and ensuring the health of children.
It is our hope that the SBA holds to its commitment of transparency and that the resulting entities will show that small business critical to supporting the American workforce, such as child care programs are receiving PPP funds. How will your agency ensure these critical entities will have and gain more access to PPP funds?
Thank you, Administrator Carranza, for your time, for your attention to this critical matter. We look forward to your timely response.