Since February 2020, 2.3 million women have left the workforce, and one of the main reasons for this has been the lack of high quality and affordable childcare.

On March 10, Congress passed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. The ARP will mount a national vaccination program, deliver immediate relief to working families, and support struggling communities. The sweeping pandemic relief package includes $39 billion in child care relief funding: $15 billion in emergency funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program and $24 billion for a child care stabilization fund.

On the same day last week, Wonderschool’s CEO and Co-Founder Chris Bennett joined U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar and Path Forward Executive Director Tami Forman to discuss new and innovative ways to help make childcare more accessible for everyone.

Senator Klobuchar discussed how the American Rescue Plan will lift children out of poverty and help women return to work, as well as other policy solutions she’s working on. Tami Forman founded Path Forward to work with companies to create “returnships” that ease the transition back to work for women (and men) who have taken time off more forgiving.

Chris shared more about how Wonderschool supports child care professionals in starting and running their own programs while helping parents find care for their children, also outlining some other opportunities for enabling better childcare:

Non-traditional program types:
– Small, in-home programs have proven to be more resilient during the pandemic. Additionally, the creation of micro-schools better support distance learning.
– Access to programs in sparse areas: There are areas where there are no more than one licensed childcare spot for every three children under the age of 5.
– Government support and funding: Though we fund the K-12 system, there isn’t adequate funding for the childcare system today.
– Business support: Child care providers often need more support in standing up and running their business, so that they can be more efficient in their operations.

Check out the full video and article here.