Norcross Holds American Rescue Plan Roundtable Discussion with Child Care Providers, Advocates & Parents
April 9, 2021
CHERRY HILL, NJ – On Thursday, U.S. Congressman Donald Norcross (NJ-01) held a roundtable discussion on the American Rescue Plan highlighting the relief for child care providers and how it will allow parents to get back to work. Norcross met virtually with local child care providers, advocates and parents to discuss the challenges the child care industry has faced due to the pandemic, and how this relief will help them.
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) puts shots in arms, money in pockets, people in jobs and children in schools. The ARP provides $39 billion in supplemental funding for child care, which will help child care providers keep their doors open and reduce costs for struggling families. New Jersey alone will receive $697 million in relief for child care.
“As a young, single dad working in the construction field, I struggled myself to find affordable, quality child care. Now, in the midst of a pandemic, having access to good child care has never been more important,” said Congressman Norcross, a member of the Committee on Education and Labor. “In order for our economy to build back better, parents need to be able to return to work, and that includes having a safe and affordable place to send their children during the workday. The funding from the American Rescue Plan will allow child care providers to pay their employees more, assist parents with costs, purchase PPE and provide a safer environment for children and caretakers.”
At the roundtable, Norcross was joined by Advocates for Children of New Jersey’s Senior Policy Analyst Cynthia Rice, Director of C.A.R.E. for ME Children’s Learning Center in Pennsauken Keisha Wright-Daniel, local family child care Provider Azizah Arline and Director of Children’s Services in Camden County Sister Donna Minster.
To watch the roundtable discussion, click here.
“The work of the child care community did not become essential in March 2020, it has always been essential,” said Cynthia Rice, Senior Policy Analyst, Advocates for Children New Jersey. “This funding provides our state with the opportunity to implement strong policies that will allow us to build back better because we cannot go back to the system that existed in March 2020. We hope this money will be used to stabilize the funding and stabilize the workforce by increasing wages.”
“Good care starts with good teachers,” said Keisha Wright-Daniel, Director C.A.R.E. for ME Children’s Learning Center in Pennsauken. “If you have teachers who can’t afford rent or put food on the table, that’s not going to make for good teachers. This funding will help us pay our teachers a respectable wage, as well as purchase PPE to keep our children and teachers safe. It will also help to increase quality, the type of care that children deserve. The child care workforce is the foundation of our nation’s economy.”
“Parents need to know that when they drop their children off that day, they are being taken care of in a wholesome and enriching environment,” said Azizah Arline, Family Child Care Provider Pennsauken. “Many parents cannot work without our services, and they need us to be dedicated to the services we provide. The CARES Act was tremendous in allowing us to stay up, and I look forward to the help coming from the American Rescue Plan.”
“This past year has been challenging to say the least,” said Sister Donna Minster, Director Children’s Services Camden County. “We’ve seen firsthand the impact the pandemic has had on all of this. Funding to address these challenges is what makes the American Rescue Plan so important for all of us. Economic recovery depends on working parents and being able to afford child care is absolutely crucial. There is no economic recovery in New Jersey without child care.”