Minnesota Reformer: Federal aid is propping up child care. It isn’t a long-term fix.

EXCERPT: “Federal COVID-19 relief dollars for child care providers will continue to flow through the states this year, cheered by both Republican and Democratic governors who say parents need affordable child care to get back to work. But child care providers and advocates warn that the federal money, which expires in 2024, won’t solve the industry’s fundamental, long-term challenge: how to provide quality services and pay workers a competitive wage while keeping prices affordable. Federal and state aid must continue, said Karen DeVos, owner of a child care business in rural Ada, Minnesota. ‘We can’t just say, ‘We’re nearing the end of the pandemic,’ or, ‘OK, the pandemic is now the norm: Figure it out.’’ While some states have started to spend the $39 billion for child care authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act, others haven’t. Some governors and state lawmakers are starting to announce their plans now, from setting aside grants for startup child care businesses to offering larger grants to businesses that can use the money to give workers a bonus.” FULL STORY: https://fluence-media.co/3tyEPux