20 January 2021, Lower Saxony, Hanover: A two-year-old child plays in the living room at home. Many daycare centers offer only emergency care in the current Corona situation, so many family with working parents are faced with childcare problems. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa (Photo by Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images) Coronavirus - Childcare
20 January 2021, Lower Saxony, Hanover: A two-year-old child plays in the living room at home. Many daycare centers offer only emergency care in the current Corona situation, so many family with working parents are faced with childcare problems. Photo: Julian Stratenschulte/dpa (Photo by Julian Stratenschulte/picture alliance via Getty Images)

President Biden is giving childcare centers the funding to back employees, and that’s helping get Michigan parents back to work. 

MICHIGAN— As more and more Michiganders get back to work, there’s something parents still need: safe childcare centers. 

Childcare centers in Michigan were highly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including KinderCare. 

“In mid-March of 2020, we became the first provider to make the difficult decision to close all of our 1,500 centers across the country,” Emily Snyder, Associate Communications Manager of KinderCare Education LLC told The ‘Gander. 

Thanks to President Joe Biden’s COVID relief plan, the American Rescue Plan—childcare centers like KinderCare will get money to bring back employees and open their doors back up to families. 

COVID-Relief Offers Childcare Providers $39 Billion  

Last week, Congress greenlit his almost $40 billion bailout for the childcare industry with the passage of COVID relief. The funding saved programs like Head start, Child Care Development Block Grants (CCDBG), and a childcare stabilization fund, which will bring much-needed support to Michigan families.

Childcare providers were given $39 billion in direct funding, which includes an additional $1billion specifically for the Head Start program, as CNBC reported. In conjunction with December’s COVID- relief package that offered $10 billion in funding, the childcare industry now has over $50 billion in assistance. 

According to Snyder, many childcare providers continue to operate with decreased enrollment levels as well as increased funding instability. The instability is a result of the limited capacity of childcare classrooms due to the coronavirus, which also causes higher operating costs “due to enhanced health and safety measures and more.” 

“With the additional grant funds that President Biden has made available to childcare providers like KinderCare through the American Rescue Plan, we’ll continue to prioritize payroll and supporting our dedicated and hardworking workforce with teacher bonuses and/or hazard pay.”

KinderCare’s Employees Benefit From COVID-Relief

Snyder said that the funding will be used to also “offset operational expenses including rent and utilities, and to support more families by extending temporary assistance beyond subsidy enrollment during this recovery,” which would temporarily offer childcare funding for parents and caretakers of children in addition to discounted enrollment fees during the pandemic. 

“We encourage states to offset childcare costs for families in the subsidy system through decreased dollar amounts for parent co-pays. In 2020, our Michigan centers received Childcare Relief grants to offset loss of income, reopening costs and operational expenses,” Snyder said. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has made obtaining childcare more difficult than it is to obtain without being in a pandemic, which often also affects frontline childcare workers. However, KinderCare offers their own subsidies for its employees. 

KinderCare makes $105 the maximum that its employees have to pay in childcare tuition a week per child. As a company, the childcare providers cover “approximately $60 million in childcare costs” for its employees annually.

“We hope that the additional funding available to support essential workers will be beneficial to them,” Synder said.

As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues, KinderCare is hopeful about what’s forthcoming. 

“We’re optimistic about the future and what’s ahead as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more broadly available, and as additional funding becomes available for childcare providers across the country,” Synder said.