Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins cosponsored the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act of 2020, legislation introduced by Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to provide assistance for child care providers in Maine and across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Child care providers throughout Maine are facing decreased enrollment and even closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Senator Collins. “This legislation would provide much needed financial assistance and support to child care providers, helping to ensure that children have access to a safe learning environment during the pandemic and as parents and guardians return to work.”
The Back to Work Child Care Grants Act of 2020 would:
- Provide nine-month financial assistance for providers to open, welcome children safely, and ensure a robust child care sector is available for families;
- Allow states to design state-specific plans to support child care centers, operators, providers in their state;
- Send funds to child care providers more quickly without administrative red tape;
- Require all providers receiving assistance to follow all state and local health and safety guidelines; and,
- Require states to ensure a diverse field of child care setting options for parents, including center-based, family child care, and faith-based options.
Throughout the pandemic, Senator Collins has worked to secure critical funding for Maine’s child care providers. In May, Senators Collins and Angus King (I-ME) joined a bipartisan group of 23 of their colleagues in urging Senate leadership to provide additional support for the child care sector in future COVID-19 relief legislation.
Earlier this year, Senators Collins and King announced nearly $11 million to the State of Maine to provide child care assistance for low-income families, health care sector employees, first responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential, and to support child care providers. This funding was authorized by the CARES Act.