For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed both the critical importance of childcare and the glaring inequities in the child care system related to access, supply, affordability, and quality. Perhaps more than ever, there is an opportunity to support working parents’ care needs across the age continuum. After more than a year of irregular schooling, social isolation, and piecemealing care options so parents and caregivers can continue working, quality school-age programs—which can support the academic and social development of youth—may be in especially high demand. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) passed in March of 2021 provided close to $40 billion for child care programs split between a stabilization grant program ($24 billion) and a one-time $15 billion increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which could expand opportunities for access to high-quality care; improve affordability for families; increase supports and training for caregivers and providers; and more adequately meet program operational needs, among others. Research shows that investments to improve access, quality, supply, and affordability along the full age continuum matter. And equitable access matters as well.
In this webinar, we discuss the importance of directing some of these essential new child care funds to school-age care, including afterschool and summer programs, and outline information for providers on how the funds might support their work and ability to serve youth and families equitably.
- Alycia Hardy, Policy Analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
- Tiffany Ferrette, Policy Analyst, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)
- Elena Rocha, Senior Director, Youth Development Partnerships and Policy, YMCA of the USA
- Gloria Hampton, Director of School-Age Services, Unleashing Potential
- Jillian Luchner, Policy Manager, Afterschool Alliance