Michigan lawmaker Tlaib among those pressing for more child care funding

At the end of September, critical funding from the American Rescue Plan Act will expire, which could put thousands of families at risk of losing the ability to afford care for their children. Now advocates are calling for action and they have an ally in Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib.

According to a recent study, the cost of childcare costs Americans over $122 billion. A recent ReadyNation study points to a combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and a lack of policy action for worsening what’s been called a childcare crisis.

The founding director of Mothering Justice, Danielle Atkinson, said she counted down the days until her last childcare bill was paid.

"The problem is we’re not investing in what we need," she said. "Childcare providers have enough on their plate they’re trying to shape the minds and care for the children so that families have all this opportunity and now they have to think of families can afford the services they so desperately need."

On Thursday, a group of community leaders and advocates got together with the Congressional Mamas' Caucus to talk over the impending cuts. The American Rescue Plan Act was helping hard-hit childcare providers get extra financial help - families were able to receive increased tax credits. But that's about to end.

So the Childcare Stabilization Act was proposed to fill the gap after ARPA money ends.

Tlaib, the founder of the Congressional Mamas' Caucus says this is a chance for lawmakers to truly support families.

"We’re hoping to do that and extend (those funds), on top of that and we have a bill now that I’m a co-lead on for the child tax credit. For us to truly support our families no matter where they live and if they’re struggling.," Tlaib said.

The impact of not having access to childcare in Michigan is estimated to be around $3 billion. More than half of all people living in the US are in a childcare desert where they don’t have access to childcare… the data is even more alarming if someone lives in a rural community.