Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general urging the United States Senate to provide robust financial support for childcare providers in the next federal stimulus bill amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

In a letter sent to Senate leadership today, the coalition of attorneys general called on Congress to provide robust funding to address the immediate needs of childcare systems around the country. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, some childcare providers are operating at reduced capacity or have closed, leaving them with little to no revenue to cover payroll, rent, insurance, and other fixed costs. This additional financial support would help childcare providers fulfill these financial obligations so that they may remain open and increase their capacity.

“If the immediate needs of our childcare system are not addressed, many Maine families may find themselves in an extremely challenging position,” said Frey. “Child care is already difficult to access and afford, and if providers are unable to recover fully from the effects of the pandemic, this situation will become worse.”

The coalition also expressed support for broader reforms to our childcare system. The attorneys general argue that our childcare system suffers from a broken model, where parents pay too much and educators make too little, and that the current pandemic has exacerbated already existing disparities in race, income, and gender in our childcare workforce. The letter insists that [t]o build a more equitable society beyond this current crisis, we need structural reform that ensures every family has access to quality, affordable childcare and educators earn the pay that they deserve.

Joining Attorney General Frey in sending today‘s Massachusetts led letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, Washington State, and Wisconsin.

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