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Senator Ernst pushes for additional support for child care providers

Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, listens as Kenneth Braithwaite, nominated to be Secretary of the Navy, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., nominated for reappointment to the grade of General and to Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, and James Anderson, nominated to be Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy testify, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)
Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, listens as Kenneth Braithwaite, nominated to be Secretary of the Navy, Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., nominated for reappointment to the grade of General and to Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, and James Anderson, nominated to be Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy testify, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP)(KCRG)
Published: May. 12, 2020 at 9:06 AM CDT
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Senator Joni Ernst and a group of 22 other senators sent a letter to senate leaders calling for additional support for the child care sector across the country.

The letter says America's frontline health care workers, first responders and other essential workers need access to quality, affordable child care during the pandemic. And that many child care providers have been forced to close or continue operating despite financial losses.

“Even before COVID-19, one of the most common concerns we heard from parents, especially in rural areas, was the struggle to find child care," the senators wrote in the letter. "The COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly worsening this situation and has led to a significant reduction in revenue for child care providers as many parents are now staying home with their children."

The letter goes on to say that additional support is needed to keep the pandemic from eliminating what few options families have even after the crisis has ended. The senators say child care is crucial to economic recovery as businesses begin reopening and parents begin returning to work.

In April, Ernst worked to get nearly $32 million in funding for Iowa to support access to child care and child care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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