January 24, 2019

Van Hollen, Cardin, Kaine, and Warner Ask Childcare Providers for Flexibility on Behalf of Parents Affected by the Government Shutdown

Letters highlight arrangements reportedly made by some organizations and request details on any accommodations being made for families 

U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), and Tim Kaine (D-Va.) requested financial flexibility from childcare organizations for parents and guardians affected by the partial government shutdown. Among the expenses piling up for these families, who do not know when their next paycheck will come, are steep costs of childcare—a necessity parents cannot forgo. With a regional shortage of daycares, many parents are continuing to pay for childcare they are not using to avoid losing their spots at the facilities.

“We ask that your company make efforts to support federal workers and contractors who are furloughed or working without pay by offering them as much financial flexibility as is possible,” wrote the Senators. “There have been reports of federally contracted childcare providers agreeing to waive fees for late payments, allowing the option of deferred payments, and reducing rates for those who do not send their child to daycare for entire weeks during the shutdown. Given how scarce and sought after quality childcare can be, it is crucial that federal workers and contractors impacted by the shutdown not risk forfeiting the very care that their families will need again when the government reopens.

“It is also of the utmost importance that federally connected families not be penalized financially for a shutdown for which they bear no responsibility. Accordingly, we respectfully request that you provide us with information regarding how your company is supporting federal workers and their families during the shutdown. We have been pleased to learn about flexibilities many businesses have extended to federal employees and contractors during this challenging time and would be interested in learning if your organization is offering any comparable accommodations,” they concluded.

Letters were sent to the ten largest for-profit child care organizations, including KinderCare Education, Learning Care Group, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Goddard Systems, Primrose Schools, Childcare Network, Kids ‘R’ Learning Academies, Nobel Learning Communities, The Learning Experience, and Cadence Education.