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NY, NJ kids will feel sting of expiration of federal child care funds


Billions in pandemic-era child care funding is set to expire on Sept. 30 — $40 billion that was part of the American Rescue Plan. Experts say that in New York and New Jersey combined hundreds of thousands of children could lose child care as thousands of facilities and programs close.

Jamie Bussel of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation says the numbers for New York State are grim.

“Over 250,000 kids are expected to lose their child care, close to 6000 child care programs are projected to close and New York parents will lose $846 million in earnings as a result of being forced to cut work hours or to leave the workforce entirely,” she said.

And in New Jersey, “More than 100,000 children are expected to lose their child care, close to 1300 child care programs in are projected to close, and parents here will lose $378 million in earnings if they have to quit working or cut back,” she said.

She and other experts urge Congress to act to extend the funding.

Bussel said in light of the uncertainty of federal funding, many states are trying to pick up the slack on child care.

“Washington DC passing a long overdue salary increase for their child care workforce, New Mexico has a new constitutional amendment guaranteeing child care, and Louisiana has created 1000 new child care slots,” she said.

These funds were being used by providers to pay rent, lower costs to families, and increase wages for workers.

Janice Kirkel is a lifelong award-winning journalist who has done everything from network newscasts to national and local sports reports to business newscasts to specialized reporting and editing in technical areas of business and finance such as bankruptcy, capital structure changes and reporting on the business of the investment business.