The Biden administration has requested $16 billion in child care funding, which would include $138 million for Nevada. This funding would help an estimated 960 service providers and 102,300 children in the state.
The White House intends for the funding to be a one-year continuation of stabilization funds which helped keep child care programs afloat throughout the COVID-19 pandemic but expired without being reauthorized in September.
The fate of the administration’s funding request is uncertain in a divided Congress. However, if the funding is approved, it would provide a major boost to Nevada’s child care system.
Access to Child Care is Essential
Nationally, access to child care helps increase maternal employment and lifetime earnings for women. For children, access to child care improves school readiness, socio-emotional development, future educational attainment, employment, and earnings. Improvements to child care also help address socioeconomic disparities for families of color, indigenous communities, rural communities, and families with children with disabilities.
Child Care is a Barrier for Domestic Violence Survivors
In Nevada, not having access to child care is a major barrier for women living in domestic violence situations from fleeing. According to a University of Nevada Las Vegas research brief, 44% of Nevadan women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, which is higher than the national average. Without access to affordable and accessible child care, many women are unable to leave their abusers.
Nevada is a Child Care Desert
The entire state of Nevada is classified as a “child care desert,” meaning that there are not enough child care providers to meet the needs of families with young children. According to a 2022 report by the First Five Years Fund, a bipartisan organization that focuses on policies benefit the developmental stage of childhood, nearly 75% of children under 5 years in Nevada do not have access to a child care provider.
The Need for Federal Investment
The Biden administration’s request for $16 billion in child care funding is a critical step in addressing the child care crisis in Nevada and across the country. This funding would help to make child care more affordable and accessible for families, and it would also support child care providers.
It is important to note that the Biden administration’s funding request is just a proposal. Congress will ultimately decide whether or not to approve the funding. However, the administration’s proposal is a strong signal of its commitment to addressing the child care crisis.
Credits: The Nevada Current
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