At least eleven states and Washington, D.C. have taken action over the past two years to significantly increase public investments to stabilize their child care sectors, investing state funds directly in child care providers and early educators. Legislatures in Alaska, California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington all dedicated state1 funding for grants to child care providers, programs to support their child care workforces, or other solutions that directly support providers. In addition, New Mexico became the first state to create a permanent fund for child care through a ballot initiative passed in November 2022.2

These actions followed unprecedented federal investments in child care during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The federal funds went directly to states and demonstrated that when public resources support child care programs and the families that rely on them, providers are more stable, families pay lower prices, and children have more reliable care. Federal dollars went directly to the states to distribute to providers through the stabilization grants ($24 billion), to supplement the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) ($28.5 billion), and to support Head Start ($1 billion). These funding streams either expired, or will expire this year, leaving families and care providers facing a child care cliff absent new funding.

The $24 billion in federal child care stabilization funds reached more than 220,000 child care providers across the United States.3 They were used to temporarily pay higher wages through bonuses and stipends, support benefits like health insurance, and cover non-labor operating expenses such as rent, mortgage, utilities, and supplies. They were not intended to build the comprehensive child care and early learning system that the United States has long needed, but to stabilize the sector at the height of the pandemic. The hope was that they would be a bridge to build the comprehensive system—as envisioned in the Build Back Better Act.4 But after passing the House of Representatives, the child care and early learning funds in the Build Back Better Act were stripped from the Senate bill, leaving the child care sector in the precarious position it was in before anyone had ever heard of the COVID-19 pandemic. And so, some states stepped in for themselves, to help partially fill the gap.

As it stands today, there remains a big disconnect between what families can pay and the resources providers need to provide high-quality care, leading to a shortage of child care supply in practically every community. As Melissa Cologrosso, the owner of A Place to Grow in Oak Hill, West Virginia told NPR: “You do the math like any other business, and the math doesn’t add up.”5 The stabilization funds not only kept businesses open, but also demonstrated what is possible when the math adds up because child care is being treated like the essential infrastructure that it is. Children can count on receiving consistent care, providers are less stressed and have an easier time recruiting and retaining early educators, early educators are able to pay their bills and, in some cases, even save for the future.

The stabilization funds not only kept businesses open, but also demonstrated what is possible when the math adds up because child care is being treated like the essential infrastructure that it is.

Unfortunately, the stabilization funds expired on September 30, 2023. The abrupt end of funding leaves a child care cliff that has already begun to lead to higher prices, staffing shortages and child care program closures. In June, The Century Foundation projected that up to 3.2 million children could lose their child care as the result of the child care cliff.6 Our cliff report acknowledged the potential impact of new investments from state budgets, most of which were not law when we completed our analysis. Now that many states have signed investments into law, we are able to report on the progress, and the significant unmet need that still exists.

This report focuses on which states invested in stabilization and what kinds of qualitative positive impacts they are expected to have. It also addresses the fact that, even with those historic, celebrated investments, so much more is needed to meet the needs of children and families in the United States—including, most importantly, at the federal level.

Historic State Investments to Stabilize Child Care

Through their state legislatures, ten states dedicated state funding in 2023 for grants to child care providers, programs to support their child care workforces, or other solutions that support providers; Washington, D.C. took similar action, and New Mexico approved investment funding through a ballot initiative.7 (See Table 1.) These decisions were the result of a combination of factors, including the catalyzing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent unprecedented federal investment, years of organizing, as well as political engagement and alignment.

Table 1


State 2023–24 State Funds for Stabilization Purposes (millions)
Alaska $7.5
California $1,400
Washington, D.C. $70
Illinois $130
Kentucky $50
Maine $30
Massachusetts $475
Minnesota $366
New Hampshire $15
New Mexico $100*
Vermont $20
Washington $260
Total $2,900

* New Mexico dedicated $150 million for child care and early learning, but only a portion of these funds were used for child care stabilization purposes. 


Source: See endnote 7.

In every state where major progress was made, providers, parents, advocates and legislative champions came together to make the case for more resources and successfully built the political will to secure new funding. Notably this year, in Minnesota, Governor Walz signed legislation to invest $1.3 billion over four years to lower child care prices for families while supporting a variety of child care options for families to choose from.8 The state also created one of the first-in-the-nation state-funded programs to increase child care worker compensation and expand child care access.9 This historic investment came after a decade-long campaign spearheaded by ISAIAH and its Kids Count On Us project, a statewide initiative of providers, parents, and teachers.

As Kids Count On Us shared:

Kids Count On Us spent several years organizing child care providers, teachers, and parents to make child care affordable and accessible for every family, high-quality for every child, and a sustainable career with fair compensation and benefits for every teacher. These efforts brought dividends this past legislative session as many of the initiatives we had been working on were ready to go when Minnesotans elected a trifecta. Child care providers, teachers, parents, and others stepped up during the legislative session to keep the pressure on elected leaders to pass child care funding.10

One of those providers was Karin Swenson from Meadow Park Preschool and Child Care Center. Karin noted that:

This past legislative session, with the knowledge that the ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] funds would expire this fall, Kids Count on Us leaders testified in committees, held rallies at the Capitol, spoke at press conferences, made countless legislator visits, organized and executed a postcard campaign to send 8,000 postcards to legislators from families around the state, wrote op-eds and letters to the editor, appeared on news segments, and produced a thirty-minute documentary about the struggles our child care system faces, following four childcare providers from around the state. We didn’t stop until we won $1 billion in child care funding, including continuing payments for compensation for child care workers that will essentially replace the ARPA funding.11

In California, two decades of organizing culminated in Child Care Providers United, a union representing home-based child care providers, winning the right to collectively bargain in 2019.12 It is a partnership between two chapters of the Service Employees International Union locals and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The collective bargaining agreement (CBA) won in 2023 included a roughly 20 percent pay increase and unprecedented benefits.13 As Nancy Harvey, a family child care provider of nineteen years and a member of SEIU Local 521 and Child Care Providers United, put it:

We won $80 million for a historic, first-of-its-kind retirement fund, and ongoing funding for healthcare and training. These are HUGE wins that we are so incredibly proud of! We did this because we organized, and we had the power of more than 40,000 child care workers who saw the crisis, who understood how to fix it, and who were determined to fight for it. But, we were also able to achieve these victories because Congress has prioritized investments in early childhood education and child care that have given workers the power to push states to raise standards for the workforce and quality of care.14

“We did this because we organized, and we had the power of more than 40,000 child care workers who saw the crisis, who understood how to fix it, and who were determined to fight for it.”

At the same time, parent organizers, led by Parent Voices California, won a more fair family fee structure,15 where the lowest income families will pay no fee, and those with incomes at the higher end of the CCDBG-eligibility scale16 will pay no more than 1 percent of their income.17 According to Mary Ignatius, the executive director of Parent Voices California:

This is a game changer for CA families, especially for single mothers of color who are the most impacted. Now the state will provide an estimated $100 million a year to cover the cost of family fees (co-payments) instead of being balanced on the backs of those who could least afford it. These families now have hundreds of dollars more a month they can spend on food, rent, gas, and other critical needs that they couldn’t before.18

In Vermont, 2023 child care policy successes19 followed a decade of advocacy, lobbying efforts, and coalition building to achieve a historic annual investment of $125 million for child care through a new law called Act 76.20 Not only does Act 76 include one-time child care stabilization funds, but it also sets the stage for minimum pay standards for early childhood educators, moving toward a future in which no educator will earn less than a set amount. In addition to these stabilization measures, the initiative also expanded who is eligible for CCDBG in Vermont, expanding eligibility for child care financial assistance up to 575 percent of the federal poverty level, helping over 7,400 additional Vermont families pay for child care. Vermont lawmakers dedicated state general revenue and initiated a new payroll tax to make the investments sustainable.

Aly Richards, chief executive officer of Let’s Grow Kids, said:

The Vermont Legislature made history by passing Act 76 with overwhelming support from across the political spectrum. This new law makes Vermont a national leader in child care, plain and simple. Its first-of-its-kind sustainable public investment will stabilize our child care sector and overall make Vermont a more affordable place to live for young families. The passage of Act 76 proved that fully solving our state’s child care crisis is within reach.21

Christina Goodwin, board president of the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children and executive director of Pine Forest Children’s Center, said: “This bill means programs like ours can offer more spots to more families. It means financial relief for families who attend our school. It also means stability, as we can pay teachers closer to a living wage and retain our talented early childhood educators.”22

In Maine, organizing and advocacy led to “historic child care investments.”23 Cate Blackford, director of public policy at Maine People’s Action, told TCF:

Maine’s greatest victory was setting a transformational vision for child care, asking people to plan for a vision where no family pays more than 7 percent of their income for childcare, that providers and educators are paid well and supported in achieving greater training. The first step for this is the development of a cost of care model, which has just begun, thanks to the comprehensive reform legislation that passed in July.24

Maine’s legislature included funding for the child care worker stipend, first implemented using federal relief funding and then bolstered with state general funds. They have doubled wage stipends to average about $400 per month, bringing the wage supplement investment to around $30 million annually, in addition to investments in their subsidy program.

According to Rebecca Millett, a member of the Maine House of Representatives:

Our investments that double early childhood educator wage stipends and expand the family subsidy program translate directly to building more provider capacity and available slots for our children. Ensuring stable, high-quality early education programs is not only essential to supporting parent participation in our economy but also the long term health of our society.25

She explained that it wasn’t easy to get there:

It took multiple years of educating political stakeholders and legislators about the critical role early childhood education plays in the long-term health of our citizens, our communities, and our economy, as well as the pandemic that pointed a bright light on the essential role these programs hold in our economic infrastructure.26

States’ advances in 2023 were also sparked by the developments in New Mexico the previous fall, with passage of a ballot initiative to dedicate $150 million a year to child care and early learning. In 2011, OLE, New Mexico Voices for Children, and other allies first proposed tapping into the state’s Land Grant Permanent Fund to pay for early child care and education programs.27 More than a decade later, after years of parent and provider organizing and advocacy, more than 70 percent of New Mexicans supported the initiative in 2022 to amend the state constitution, creating a permanent fund to support children aged zero to five.28

“Ensuring stable, high-quality early education programs is not only essential to supporting parent participation in our economy but also the long term health of our society.”

According to Miles Tokunow, deputy director of OLE:

After a decade of organizing, our fight for a more just and equitable early education system started to gain the necessary momentum to win the constitutional amendment. The wins that led to our big win include a legal win for a more equitable and consistent child care assistance system, the creation of the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD), as well as the creation of an early education trust fund to help fund the great need.29

New Mexico has begun distributing these funds.

State Investments Mean Security and Stability for the Child Care Sector, Children, and Families

Without support that addresses the lack of child care supply, families will have fewer options and the options that exist will have prices that are out of reach for most families, or fail to provide the type of care children need. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has called the current state of the nation’s child care “the textbook example of a broken market”30—which means that the market itself cannot solve it. As economist Kathryn Anne Edwards has stated, “there is no innovation coming that will suddenly increase supply or decrease cost. The implication of which is that the childcare market can only deteriorate further.”31 The worsening supply of child care means that it will be harder for families to access child care, which results in reduced parental labor force participation and has ripple effects for employers and local and state economies.

The eleven states and Washington, D.C. that made investments in stabilization specifically dedicated funds directly to providers and the child care workforce. These investments included grants to run child care centers and family child care homes (also known as home-based child care) that could be used for things such as direct investments in salary increases, health and retirement benefits, training, and scholarships for early educators to participate in professional development opportunities. (See Table 2.)

Table 2
State Stabilization Purpose Investments
Alaska One-time funding for child care worker wage increases
  • Largest-ever rate increases for providers and a pathway to implement provider payment based on the actual cost of providing care
  • A historic, first-of-its-kind retirement fund
  • Ongoing funding for health care and training
Washington, D.C. Launched the DC Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund, a first-in-the-nation initiative to raise compensation for early childhood educators across the early learning system
Illinois Invests $130 million and additional federal dollars to begin funding for Early Childhood Workforce Compensation Contracts to stabilize operational funding and promote quality in the child care system
Kentucky An additional round of stabilization payments in December 2023
Maine Doubles the monthly salary stipends for child care workers from $200 to $400 on average, helping qualified professionals afford to remain in the industry and help providers retain staff
Massachusetts New state funding for the Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) grants to child care providers
Minnesota Great Start Compensation Support program, which will support monthly payments to child care educators to increase compensation and stability in the sector
New Hampshire The state allocated $15 million to support child care workforce recruitment, retention, and scholarships for early childhood professionals
New Mexico Maintained pandemic-era increases in wages for early educators 
Vermont One-time payments to stabilize child care programs
  • Family child care collective bargaining agreement 
  • Provider grants (among many other supports)
Source: See endnote 7.

The investments that states have made in the past two years will make a significant difference in bolstering the supply of child care. For example, in Massachusetts, which recently approved $475 million in state dollars to continue its stabilization grant program,32 47 percent of providers have been able to delay tuition increases due to stabilization grants and 21 percent of providers were able to reduce tuition.33 Lauren Kennedy from Neighborhood Villages shared how impactful these grants were:

Stabilization grants have been absolutely critical to keeping Massachusetts’ early education and care sector afloat and allowing the Commonwealth to move towards long-term stability and growth. These direct-to-provider operations grants have led to investments in educator salaries and successfully protected against substantial increases to tuition charged to families. Indeed, they have served as an incredibly effective mechanism with respect to enabling early education and care providers to raise salaries without having to pass the cost of those expenses off onto families.34

In Washington, D.C., more than 3,000 early childhood educators received quarterly supplemental payments, in addition to their salaries, from the DC Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund in the 2023 fiscal year.35 These payments totaled almost $70 million and increased caregiver compensation by 40 percent, supporting staff retention.36 DC early educator Ana Gonzalez told NPR that the Pay Equity Fund is helping her to save to buy a house with her 24-year-old daughter.37

The investments that states have made in the past two years will make a significant difference in bolstering the supply of child care.

Similarly, in New Mexico, where they are dedicating state funds to continue the $3-an-hour wage increase originally adopted with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds, is expected to have a positive impact on the child care workforce, The state has concluded that the Competitive Pay for Professionals (CPP) grant “has had a transformative impact on New Mexico’s child care workforce” and “addressed longstanding wage issues, recruitment challenges, and professional shortages, particularly in rural areas.”38

In Maine, Senate President Troy Jackson noted:

For too long, Maine’s child care system hasn’t worked for anyone—not parents, workers, providers or small businesses. The key issue has been wages. Stagnant wages have made it impossible for these dedicated professionals to remain in the industry. Fewer child care workers means fewer child care slots forcing many providers to close classrooms and operate well under capacity. At the very least, the boost in wages will reduce the number of workers leaving the industry and hopefully attract others to return.39

In fact, providers are seeing a difference as a result of the expansion of Maine’s salary stipends for child care workers. Amanda Angelo Hatch, YWCA Central Maine chief program and impact officer, explained:

The state-funded wage supplements are a massive win for staff attraction and retention. Nonprofit centers, like ours, cannot afford to pay our staff what they need to live in our community—what they deserve to earn—without changing our entire operational budget by, for example, raising tuition or declining to accept families utilizing state subsidy. These wage supplements also allow us to actually use our limited resources for improvements that directly impact the quality of care provided to children and families: enhancements within our center, resources for classrooms, lower staff to child ratios, attraction of experienced staff, and ongoing training opportunities.40

Additional Child Care and Early Learning Investments

In addition to the stabilization investments noted above, which reached a combination of CCDBG-eligible families and a broader population, states also enhanced child care and early learning subsidies (CCDBG) and pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs using their own state funds. To the extent these funds are used to increase reimbursement rates for providers and increase wages, they may also help stabilize the sector. However, as discussed below, pre-K investments can sometimes destabilize infant and toddler providers.

CCDBG, the federal–state child care partnership serving only low-income families that has been in place since 1990, has been underfunded for decades, serving only a small fraction of those eligible. States have used their own funding to enhance programs by building on the federal CCDBG supplemental funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRSSA), and ARPA. Some of the states that invested in stabilization also invested in CCDBG expansion. As noted above, California, Illinois, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. were among those that invested in both. Eight additional states41 invested state dollars to maintain the family-supporting changes first implemented with federal funds, such as eliminating or reducing fees for parents and serving more families. However, even with these improvements in their subsidy programs, if the state did not also invest in stabilization, families may have fewer places to use their subsidies if the shrinking child care supply can not meet their needs.

Other states have focused on expanding or establishing pre-kindergarten (pre-K) programs primarily for four-year-olds in their state investments, including Alabama, Alaska, California, Michigan, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.42 Pre-K programs can have incredible benefits for the children and families who use them. Unfortunately, investments in pre-K that are not accompanied by similar investments in infant and toddler care can result in reducing the supply of infant and toddler care.43 Because pre-K programs often pay more than infant and toddler programs, investing in pre-K alone can inspire infant and toddler teachers to move to pre-K instead, leaving infant and toddler programs without the staff they need. In addition, higher staffing ratios required for high-quality infant and toddler care mean that serving younger children can be more expensive. Programs that serve three- and four-year-olds as well as younger children are able to better balance their budgets, but when the older children are moved into a separate program, that can cause budgetary imbalances.

States are also continuing to use federal funds in their state budgets for child care. This is a good strategy, but will only work until those funds run out. For example, states are using their federal CCDBG supplemental funding, which has been obligated in their budgets, and remains available to spend until September 30, 2024. Some states and localities are also using federally granted State and Local Fiscal Recovery funds to invest in child care. For example, New Hampshire used $3.5 million of these funds—which must be obligated by December 31, 2024, and expended by December 31, 2026—for child care through the Child Care Operating Expense Reduction (CCOER) grant program. This program aims to give providers funding for rent, mortgage, or lease payments; facility maintenance, repair, and enhancement; new outdoor playground spaces; business infrastructure such as payroll software; and supplies for play and learning.44

Several states have also spent their federal stabilization funds—or repurposed other federal funds—in ways that allow them to continue to use them to support providers for at least a few more months. For example, after Governor Evers in Wisconsin’s multiple attempts to move $356 million through the state legislature were blocked by legislative opponents, he reallocated $175 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds to cover half of this gap.45

A Federal Role in Child Care Funding Remains Necessary and Urgent

State progress over the past two years was historic and significant, thanks in part to the clear lesson learned during the pandemic: public funding of the child care sector is both highly necessary and overwhelmingly effective. In Virginia, child care advocates saw their hard work reflected in Governor Youngkin’s child care announcement in December committing $185 million in new funding each year for the upcoming biennial budget—less than the coalition was fighting for, and unfortunately with strings attached, but an important starting point.46 More states may follow.

Children and families in communities across the country will reap the benefits of additional state investment, as will state economies. Yet, state funding has been only a fraction of what is needed to stabilize the child care sector. Supplemental state funding to date is also a far cry from the long-term, sustainable investments in a comprehensive child care and early learning system that the United States has long needed. As Parent Voices California’s executive director Mary Ignatius put it:

An infusion of state and federal funding that is ongoing and permanent to match children as they age is needed. One time funding or funding for one particular age group does not align with how children grow and develop and need consistent and continuous care that meets their family’s needs and ensures their early educators are properly compensated from 0–13 years old.47

While eleven states and Washington, D.C. invested in child care stabilization, and additional states expanded their subsidy programs through CCDBG or their pre-K programs for four-year-olds, many others did not. Across the nation, states that have not invested to continue stabilizing the child care sector are facing rising tuition and fees for families, staffing shortages, and closures—and these different trajectories are expected to only widen in the coming months and years, absent action.

Across the nation, states that have not invested to continue stabilizing the child care sector are facing rising tuition and fees for families, staffing shortages, and closures.

Unfortunately, when states found themselves with significant surpluses, rather than invest in families, many states instead made a deliberate decision to cut taxes that primarily benefited wealthy households and corporations.48 These tax cuts will reduce state revenues precisely at a time when more revenue is needed to invest in child care. The amount of lost state revenue will grow over time and make it even harder for these states to invest needed funding on child care and reap the economic benefits of those investments.

Not only have these short-sighted tax cuts reduced states’ abilities to invest in child care programs, this lack of investment can induce further collapses in state revenues. For example, in Florida, providers are sharing stories about having to turn families away because of staffing shortages.49 And the Florida Chamber of Commerce reports that the state misses $911 million annually in tax revenue due to the resulting child care crisis50— in part because 64 percent of parents of young children missed work or class at least once in the past three months for child care-related reasons, and 15 percent left a job in the past six months due to child care issues. Similarly, a recent study from South Carolina found that taxpayers, families, and businesses in the state lose $1.4 billion each year from the insufficient supply of affordable and accessible infant and toddler care.51 In Wisconsin, 168 child care programs have already closed down because of the loss of federal stabilization funds.52 The governor of Wisconsin has been pushing to use the state budget surplus to make up the difference, but the legislature has blocked these efforts. The reallocated federal FEMA dollars to address the child care emergency only make up about half of the difference.

Child Care Aware of Kansas found that, in just the period from when their stabilization grants ended June 1, 2023 to September 15, 2023, Kansas had a net loss of forty-three family child care programs throughout the state53—more than the state had lost over the course of the entire prior year.54 In Rhode Island, Beautiful Beginnings Childcare Center serves 150 children, but has a waiting list of 500 and is calling for federal funding to resolve its staffing shortage.55 Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Rhode Island are in the company of many other states that are experiencing these challenges.

Short- and Long-Term Child Care Solutions

What can the federal government do to address this ongoing child care crisis? In the short-term, as President Biden, Congressional Democrats and nearly 1,000 organizations across the nation have called for, $16 billion in emergency child care funding is needed to avert a devastating decrease in the supply of care that will disrupt both families and our economy. This estimate is grounded in the availability of the child care relief investments over time from the CARES Act, CRRSAA, and ARPA funding streams, which had offered approximately $16 billion to states on average over each of the past three years (2021, 2022, and 2023).56 To ensure stability for the present, Congress must provide at least $16 billion per year in emergency child care dollars to address the child care cliff while it also lays the groundwork for the sustained and transformative funding needed to ensure high-quality, affordable child care is accessible for all families. Without these federal funds, the country once again will be creeping toward another child care crisis that will carry major economic consequences.

In the long-term, the United States needs to adopt child care and early learning policies that give every family affordable and easy-to-access options to meet their needs and support a diverse child care workforce, where all providers earn a livable wage. The economic benefits of such policies would be felt far and wide, because families across the nation would reap the benefits of lower child care costs with more options that meet their needs.57 The child care sector would grow and prosper with the public funding needed to invest in the workforce through higher compensation and the ability to expand diverse child care programs to meet families’ needs around the country. The funding would cover the true cost of providing care and early education options that support healthy children’s development and well-being.58 It would also contribute to greater gender equality by supporting mothers and reducing the motherhood wage penalty.59 This policy is a win for all—good for the economy, good for children, and good for families.60

The authors would like to thank Nina Dastur at Community Change, the state leaders and partners of Community Change who contributed quotes and insights, and Diane Girouard from Child Care Aware of America for their input in this commentary.


  1. In Washington, D.C.’s case, local funding was used.
  2. Casey Parks, “In N.M. child-care funding win, providers see nationwide map,” Washington Post, November 10, 2022,
  3. “American Rescue Plan Act Child Care Stabilization Program,” Office of Child Care—Administration for Children and Families, September 2023,
  4. Julie Kashen, Julie Cai, Hayley Brown and Shawn Fremstad, “How States Would Benefit If Congress Truly Invested in Child Care and Pre-K,” The Century Foundation, March 21, 2022,
  5. Andrea Hsu, “$400-a-month pandemic bonuses were life-changing for child care workers. That’s over,” NPR, October 5, 2023,
  6. Kashen et al., “Child Care Cliff: 3.2 Million Children Likely to Lose Spots with End of Federal Funds,” The Century Foundation, June 21, 2023,
  7. “Alaska Early Childhood Policy Landscape,” Alliance for Early Success, 2023,; “California Early Childhood Policy Landscape,” Alliance for Early Success, 2023,; Audrey Kasselman“Policy Brief: DC Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund,” DC Action, 2023,; “Gov. Pritzker Signs Fifth Balanced Budget,” Illinois.Gov, June 7, 2023,; “Update on Stabilization Payments, Child Care Aware of Kentucky, August 29, 2023,; Diane Girourd, State Session Round Up: Summer 2023,”September 14, 2023,; “Major Progress for Common Start in the FY24 State Budget!” Common Start Coalition, August 4, 2023,,grants%20to%20child%20care%20providers; Child Care Aware of Minnesota, “Final Legislative Update,” May 25, 2023,; author correspondence with New Mexico State Early Childhood Education and Care Department;  Let’s Grow Kids, “Vermont’s Historic Child Care Bill,” 2023, ​​
  8. “2023 Legislative Wins for Children and Families,” Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, 2023,
  9. “Governor Walz Announces New $316 Million Program to Boost Pay for Child Care, providers encouraged to apply,”, October 17, 2023,
  10. As shared with the authors.
  11. As shared with the authors.
  12. “Governor Newsom Signs Legislation Allowing Child Care Providers the Right to Unionize,” Office of Governor Gavin Newsom, September 30, 2019,
  13. Daisy Nguyen, “How a California Child Care Workers’ Union Fought for Living Wages—and Won,” KQED, October 13, 2023,
  14. Nancy Harvey, remarks during event “Unless Congress Acts, We’re Heading Toward a Child Care Cliff,” The Century Foundation, June 22, 2023,
  15. Laura Pryor, Erik Saucedo, and Parent Voices, “Mending Harmful Family Fees: Expanding Possibilities for California Families,” California Budget and Policy Center, July 2023,
  16. Federal CCDBG law requires that families served are earning 85 percent of their state’s median income or less. States are allowed to adopt more restrictive laws, and many do.
  17. Note that the family fee structure relates to CCDBG. It is included here because of how important it is to address higher wages and lower fees together to increase supply and lower costs for families.
  18. Speaker testimony shared with the authors.
  19. “The 2023 Child Care bill Passed into Law. Now What?” Let’s Grow Kids, 2023,
  20. Rebecca Gale, “Vermont Makes Child Care History with a Bipartisan Veto Override,” Early Learning Nation, June 27, 2023,
  21. As shared with the authors.
  22. Rebecca Gale, “Vermont Makes Child Care History with a Bipartisan Veto Override,” Early Learning Nation, June 27, 2023,
  23. Diane Girouard, “State Session Round Up: Summer 2023,” Child Care Aware of America, September 14, 2023,
  24. As shared with the authors.
  25. As shared with the authors.
  26. Ibid.
  27. “Our Impact,” New Mexico Voices for Children, 2023,
  28. Casey Parks, “In N.M. child-care funding win, providers see nationwide map,” Washington Post, November 10, 2022,
  29. As shared with the authors.
  30. Remarks by Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen on Shortages in the Child Care System,” U.S.  Department of the Treasury, press release, September 15, 2021,
  31. Kathryn Anne Edwards,“Child Care Since the Pandemic: Macroeconomic Impacts of Public Policy Measures,” Statement, Senate Subcommittee on Economic Policy, September 20, 2023.
  32. Christinia Koch and Diane Girouard, “Fall Federal and State Policy Updates,” Child Care Aware of America, October 12, 2023,
  33. “Commonwealth Cares for Children (C3) Survey Findings,” Massachusetts Department Early Education and Care, September 13, 2023,
  34. Speaker testimony shared with the authors.
  35. Audrey Kasselman, “Policy Brief: DC Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund,” DC Action, 2023,
  36. Ibid.
  37. Ibid.
  38. “The Competitive Pay for Professionals (CPP) Grant Outcomes,” New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department, accessed December 20, 2023,
  39. As shared with the authors.
  40. As shared with the authors.
  41. Alabama, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and North Dakota.
  42. Diane Girouard, “State Session Round Up: Summer 2023,” Child Care Aware of America, September 14, 2023,
  43. Brown, Jessica, “Does Public Pre-K Have Unintended Consequences on the Child Care Market for Infants and Toddlers?” Princeton University Industrial Relations Section Working Paper 626, December 8, 2018,
  44. “Child Care Operating Expense Reduction (CCOER) Grant Program Application Overview,” NH Connections, October 24, 2023,
  45. Erik Gunn,“Evers moves $170M to extend child care support into 2025,” Wisconsin Examiner, October 16, 2023,
  46. “Governor Glenn Youngkin Launches Building Blocks for Virginia Families,”  Office of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin, December 7, 2023,
  47. Speaker testimony shared with the authors.
  48. Wesley Tharpe, “States’ Recent Tax-Cut Spree Creates Big Risks for Families and Communities,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, November 30, 2023,
  49. Tom Hudson, “How two childcare centers used COVID money—and prepare for it to run out,” WLRN, September 28, 2023,
  50. Diana Bello Aristizábal, “Without ARPA Funding—A crisis is coming in the childcare industry,” DORAL Family Journal, November 2, 2023,
  51. Sandra Bishop and Kim Russell, “The Growing Annual Cost of the Infant-Toddler Child Care Crisis in South Carolina,” Ready Nation Council for Strong America, November 2023,;%20filename=%22The%20Growing,%20Annual%20Cost%20of%20the%20Infant-Toddler%20Child%20Care%20Crisis%20in%20South%20Carolina.pdf%22
  52. Catherine Rampell, “What happened to this Wisconsin day care should concern us all,” Washington Post, November 6, 2023,
  53. Kelly Davydov, “Testimony for the 2023 Special Committee on Child Care Centers and Child Care Homes,” Child Care Aware of Kansas, September 21, 2023,
  54. Christinia Koch and Diane Girouard, “Fall Federal and State Policy Updates,” Child Care Aware of America, October 12, 2023,
  55. Temi-Tope Adeleye, “Providence childcare center calls for more funding amid affordable childcare crisis,” WJAR,
  56. “Solutions to Address the Looming Child Care Crisis,” National Women’s Law Center, July 19, 2023,
  57. Julie Kashen, “The Case for Child Care and Early Learning For All: Economic Prosperity,” The Century Foundation, August 12, 2021,
  58. Ibid.
  59. Julie Kashen and Jessica Milli, “The Build Back Better Plan Would Reduce the Motherhood Penalty,” The Century Foundation, October 8, 2021,
  60. Julie Kashen, “Testimony: Congress Must Invest in Child Care and Pre-K to Benefit States and Families,” The Century Foundation, March 22, 2022,