With more than $50 billion in federal relief invested in the child care sector over the last year, states have an unprecedented opportunity to create a more equitable, sustainable and comprehensive early care and education system. This includes facilities investments, which are a key element to creating a high-quality child care experience in centers and family child care homes.
Today the National Children’s Facilities Network (NCFN) released How States Can Improve Child Care Facilities & Physical Spaces Using Federal Relief Dollars. This policy brief shares strategies to invest federal dollars in the physical spaces where children learn and grow.
NCFN is a coalition of Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and child care stakeholders co-chaired by LIIF. The policy brief is co-authored by the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Education Counsel, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC).
Highlighted Strategies for States to Consider
- Partner with a CDFI to support child care facility investments, including the provision of technical assistance and capacity building.
- Create a fund using the Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund to invest in the expansion of child care facilities, including acquisition, construction and renovation.
- Dedicate a pool of Child Care Stabilization Fund resources to support family child care providers to cover their rent or mortgage payments.
- Increase pay for child care providers by providing grants to essential workers through the Coronavirus Fiscal Recovery Fund.
- Prioritize Coronavirus Capital Project Funds that support child care facility development and improvements.
- Increase access to credit for child care small businesses through the State Small Business Credit Initiative.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, LIIF has marshalled more than $23 million to help child care small business owners with essential expenses like rent, mortgage, payroll and purchasing cleaning and safety supplies.
To equitably meet the needs of children, families, child care business owners, and educators we must ensure center- and home-based providers have the resources to create safe, high-quality spaces for children to learn and grow. States can use this policy brief as a tool to identify diverse funding sources and leverage partners to help close the gaps in access to quality child care facilities.