MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota Sen. Tina Smith and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren led 29 of their colleagues in calling on Senate leaders to include their plan for a $50 billion childcare bailout in the next coronavirus relief package.

Sens. Smith and Warren unveiled their plan to stabilize the childcare system, provide childcare for essential workers including health care workers, and invest in childcare for long-term economic recovery.

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A recent report revealed that without adequate support, Minnesota could lose 55% of its childcare supply and Massachusetts could lose 34%. Now Sens. Smith, Warren and their fellow senators are calling on Senate leaders to prioritize this funding in the next relief package. They also want to make sure small businesses and nonprofits involved in caring for children receive support from the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program.

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“While the $3.5 billion for childcare included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was an important first step in helping to fund childcare for frontline healthcare workers and other essential employees, since its passage, we have only learned more about the extent of closures required by this pandemic and the dire situation that childcare providers are in, which necessitates additional relief,” wrote the senators.

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Sens. Smith and Warren first sent a letter to Senate leadership on March 21. Then on April 15, they published a Medium post about their plan for a $50 billion childcare bailout. Following their post, an analysis estimated at least $9.6 billion is needed each month to preserve the nation’s childcare system during the pandemic.