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A Fragile Ecosystem IV: Will Kentucky Child Care Survive When the Dollars Run Out?

This fall a new child care provider survey was released “A Fragile Ecosystem IV: Will Kentucky Child Care Survive When The Dollars Run Out?” The findings paint a bleak picture of the future of Kentucky’s child care sector if policymakers do not act now to level the approaching American Rescue Plan Act funding cliff.  Nearly 3 years into the pandemic, Kentucky’s child care sector remains on shaky ground and the sector is bracing for more challenging times ahead. The coming end of ARPA dollars means that time is now of the essence to ensure Kentucky’s child care infrastructure is sustained immediately and in the long term. 4-C and our partners at Ready for K Alliance are calling for state leaders to avoid the American Rescue Plan funding cliff for child care by stabilizing Kentucky’s early childhood sector prior to the close of the 2024 state budget session. We know a strong workforce depends on child care access for working families.

The survey asked more than 500 Kentucky child care providers from 94 Kentucky counties what they will do when federal American Rescue Plan Act relief funds run out.
The survey found that:
  • More than 20% of Kentucky child care providers anticipate permanently closing their child care program.
  • More than 70% of providers will be forced to raise tuition for working parents.
  • Nearly 40% of providers will have to cut staff wages.
  • Almost 30% of child care providers will need to lay off staff.
You can contact your Kentucky House and Senate members by finding them here: https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/findyourlegislator/findyourlegislator.html

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