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Childcare providers get a much-needed bailout

April 16, 2021, 12:58 PM UTC
The Biden administration is allocating $39 billion of American Rescue Plan funds to childcare centers.
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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Kim Godwin is the first Black woman to lead a broadcast news division, Citigroup exits Asian consumer markets, and childcare providers get a much-needed bailout. Have a great weekend.

– Rescue mission. For more than a year, the United States’ childcare system has been in crisis.

I’m not talking only about the burdens placed on working parents who had to figure out how to care for their out-of-school kids while working from home or, even more impossibly, still heading into a workplace. Running parallel to that crisis has been another one facing the country’s childcare providers themselves. One in six childcare jobs lost over the past year still hasn’t come back; meanwhile, costs to keep centers open continue to soar due to needs like COVID testing and PPE for staff.

That’s why the Biden administration yesterday released $39 billion of funding from the recently-signed $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan that will go to childcare providers and early childhood educators, following through on plans announced earlier this year.

While this decision aims to address the immediate crisis facing this industry—and the women of color and small businesses that make up so much of it—the allocation is also preventative. For every childcare center forced to close, families lose access to a sorely needed care option—and, often, women are forced out of the workforce. While the exact distribution of these funds will be left to states, territories, and tribes, the White House estimates the $39 billion will support access to care or education for 5 million children.

And while childcare providers have struggled to stay open, childcare nevertheless remains exorbitantly expensive for many families. The Biden administration is aiming to address that part of the problem by allowing states to use their funds to subsidize childcare for families earning below 85% state median income—and families where the parents or guardians are essential workers.

In the words of Vice President Kamala Harris as she spoke about the funds’ release yesterday: “The strength of our country, the resilience of our economy depends on affordability and the availability of childcare.”

Emma Hinchliffe
emma.hinchliffe@fortune.com
@_emmahinchliffe

The Broadsheet, Fortune’s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women, is coauthored by Kristen Bellstrom, Emma Hinchliffe, and Claire Zillman. Today’s edition was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

ALSO IN THE HEADLINES

- City failure. Chicago released footage of a city police officer two weeks ago shooting 13-year-old Adam Toledo—the youngest person killed by Chicago police in years. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot addressed the city in a news conference: "Simply put, we failed Adam." Chicago Tribune

- Stock picker. In the latest edition of Fortune's quarterly investment guide, ARK Investment fund manager Cathie Wood shares her top 10 stocks for the big-picture. Wood has risen to Wall Street fame thanks to her "mighty returns from pandemic lows, future-focused investing style, and buzzy Twitter presence." Fortune

- Eastern exit. Citigroup, the bank led by CEO Jane Fraser, will exit 13 consumer businesses in Asia and Eastern Europe. "We don’t have the scale we need to compete," Fraser says of the decision. Financial Times

- Broadcast milestone. Kim Godwin's appointment as president of ABC News is now official. The former CBS News exec will be the first Black woman to run a broadcast news division. Washington Post

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: After Susan Zirinsky's departure as CBS News president, ABC's Wendy McMahon was named a president and co-head of reorganized CBS News and CBS Television Stations. Andrea Zahumensky is stepping down as KFC U.S. CMO. JetBlue hired Southwest Airlines' Carol Clements as chief digital & technology officer. ServiceNow CFO Gina Mastantuono joins the board of Roblox. BECU Credit Union global chief information officer Fumbi Chima and Julia Taxin, general partner at Grotech Ventures, join the board of Optoro. TeamViewer hired former Accenture exec Lisa Agona as CMO. Lukka hired former Intertrust CEO Stephanie Miller as COO. 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

- Voting rights. Former Xerox chief executive Ursula Burns is part of the group of CEOs pushing corporate America to take a stand against restrictive voting laws. Hundreds of executives signed a letter promising to oppose "any discriminatory legislation" making it harder for Americans to vote. Fortune

- What comes next. After becoming a whistleblower, what happens next? Former Google A.I. ethicist Timnit Gebru, former Pinterest employees Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, and former Google employee Chelsey Glasson describe what their lives have been like since speaking up against Big Tech companies. Protocol

- Self-reflection. A new study has found that women experience Zoom burnout at a higher rate than men. Researchers at Stanford discovered that 13.8% of women feel "very" to "extremely" fatigued after video conference calls, versus 5.5% of men. A possible culprit? Zoom's self-view window. Fast Company

ON MY RADAR

Daunte Wright called his mom before being shot. George Floyd yelled for his. As a Black mother, this is my greatest fear The Lily

Dallas Wings take Texas star Charli Collier as the No. 1 overall pick in WNBA draft USA Today

House passes Paycheck Fairness Act aimed at closing gender pay gap Wall Street Journal

PARTING WORDS

"So much of what we prize in life, in people, in food, in our surroundings, is such a mixture of mess and beauty."

-Nigella Lawson in a New Yorker interview