In March 2021, Congress passed legislation that included nearly $40 billion to support both child care providers and the families who depend on child care so that they can work or return to the workforce. Out of these funds, $23.9 billion was allocated to states to be used for stabilization grants to support the child care market. The remaining funds were allocated to states to more broadly address child care needs (e.g., supporting families, addressing child care supply gaps, improving the quality of child care, etc.).
ARP Stabilization Grant Review
Because the operation of any child care program (either in a center or a home) relies on staffing, Child Care Services Association (CCSA) and its National Center, working with the Early Learning Policy Group, reviewed state initiatives based on publicly available information to better understand specific investments in the child care workforce. A tight labor market across the country has made it difficult to recruit and retain staff, particularly given the low wages paid to those individuals working in the child care field. As a result, the ARP stabilization grants include investing in the child care workforce as the first in a list of allowable uses of funding.
This review focused on state decisions to require the use of stabilization grants to invest in child care workforce compensation or the ability for programs to opt-in to receive supplemental payments to invest in child care workforce compensation. There are many other great resources available to see how states have spent these funds looking at multiple areas. Our focus is specifically on funds for the workforce.