Thousands of Virginia daycares in jeopardy of closing: ‘It’s critical for us’

The childcare stabilization grant expires Sept. 30, drying up federal funding.
With the child care stabilization grant set to expire Sept. 30, thousands of Virginia daycares are in jeopardy of closing without the help of federal funding.
Published: Sep. 29, 2023 at 6:46 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Childcare facilities across the country are scrambling to find a solution as they brace for essential federal funding coming to an end.

In 2021, congress approved the Child Care Stabilization Grant, which awarded 24 billion dollars to states to give to local childcare facilities. That money was to be used for day-to-day operating costs.

Some childcare facilities, like Leaf Spring School in Central Virginia, used some of the funds to increase staff salaries.

“Once again, for us, it’s all about the quality of that teaching staff. To increase the training and develop more qualified people, we could provide a better program for those communities. So it’s critical for us,” said Vance Spillman, Chief Executive Officer of Leaf Spring School.

The ending of these funds could mean childcare costs could soar, putting 80,000 children in Virginia at risk of losing their spot in daycare. Not to mention the millions more across the country.

“Unfortunately, these smaller programs, some of the most needed in communities that need that kind of daycare and child care, are the ones that will probably go out of business first,” Spillman said.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine’s office says he is “committed to both doing all that he can to extend the Stabilization Funds, and to getting his Child Care for Working Families Act, which would cap child care costs at seven percent of families income.”

There is bipartisan support to extend child care. However, the main issue now is how to pay for it.