Short term COVID relief packages floated today in Washington

The Alliance for Early Success and Education Counsel shared this afternoon that there was movement in Washington today around a possible short-term COVID relief package. There are several possible options on the table:

  • A small bipartisan group of Senators put out a $908 billion proposal this morning that would include $10 billion for child care, perhaps to be spent between now and March 2021. The bill would also include a small amount for state and local government support, an additional $300/week in unemployment insurance, an expansion and extension of the paycheck protection program, support for small businesses, and community lender support, as well as vaccine development and testing. The proposal includes separate money for K-12 schools. 
  • Senate leader McConnell also announced that he has a proposal that has the White House’s backing. That proposal appears to include $10 billion for back to work grants, which would go to child care providers, and $5 billion for child care through the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG).
  • House Speaker Pelosi also has a revised proposal that the House and Senate leadership are considering.
  • The White House also announced that it is supporting some relief, though it didn’t announce a number. 

Our national partners shared that the fact that there was so much movement today is a good sign for a possible agreement and relief package coming soon. President-Elect Biden has urged Congress to act on a relief package and has said that whatever they do will be a necessary first step.

Advocates nationally have requested $50 billion in child care relief, based in part on an estimate by a bipartisan economist working with CLASP and NWLC earlier this year that it would take about $9.6 billion per month to fully support the child care industry during COVID. Using that yardstick, the $10 billion proposal on the table would support the child care industry for about one month.