At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the child care sector was already facing increasing operating costs and staff shortages that were further exacerbated by the health care crisis. The American Rescue Plan invested billions of dollars in the sector, saving more than 3 million child care slots. Facing her own child care crisis, Anitra Lott in Las Vegas accessed American Rescue Plan funds to open a child care center to serve her community.
After seeing her children struggle to find reliable child care during the pandemic, Anitra decided to step away from her duties as an ordained minister and start her own child care business: Kingdom’s Daycare LLC. To help get her business off the ground, Anitra has received assistance from a child care resource center in Las Vegas that was launched with funds from the American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan also provided Anitra’s business with several months of operational assistance for payroll.
I try to do what I can to help families—I’ve even watched children for free so their parents can go to job interviews. I would love to be able to take care of more children, because I have a lot of families on my waiting list. I was grateful to receive several months of paycheck bonuses from the American Rescue Plan, but small child care providers like me could really use more help so that we can expand.
The American Rescue Plan child care investments were a necessary but temporary fix for America’s child care industry. But after decades of underinvestment, child care centers and the families who rely on them need long-term solutions. Congress can answer the call by expanding child care subsidies and investing in teacher pay and retention.
Read more stories on economic justice and health care
This storybook features women in Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, and New Hampshire whose stories center on issues from prescription drug pricing and health insurance, to child care and paid leave.