WASHINGTON, D.C. (Nexstar) — The $2.2-trillion-dollar coronavirus relief law includes millions in federal funding to keep childcare facilities open for essential workers.
Now it’s up to each state’s governor to determine how to spend the money — and keep childcare facilities open while protecting the children and workers there from the coronavirus.
Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn says many of our frontline workers cannot battle this pandemic without daycare for their children.
That’s why Cornyn says Congress included $3.5 billion to keep childcare facilities operating, as part of the coronavirus relief package.
Linda Smith, Director of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative, says the money goes to states — and state officials must decide how to spend it safely.
“This is risky work,” says Smith. “They are taking the children of people who are out there and exposed. So Governors are now having to think through how do we make some of these decisions.”
Texas Governor Greg Abbott says the 17,000 daycares in the state will now have to start doing health screenings for staff, children and parents.
Lynette Fraga with childcare aware of America says the money will also go towards cleaning supplies.
But she says the $3.5 billion is just a down payment.
“We need so much more, approximately about $50 billion dollars,” says Fraga.
She says that would keep day cares operating through summer. Fraga is asking Congress for the additional money in the next coronavirus relief bill.