STATEMENT: DC Child Care Subsidy Payment Changes Threaten Sector’s Survival


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Contact: Tawana Jacobs,, 301-325-8687


DC Child Care Subsidy Payment Changes Threaten Sector’s Survival

Today, Mayor Bowser’s administration announced that it is changing how it will make child care subsidy payments to licensed providers serving low-income District families, beginning November 1. This news comes one day after the administration announced the launch of its 5 million dollar child care relief fund to help all licensed child care programs stay in business. 

Ruqiyyah Anbar-Shaheen, director of early childhood policy and programs at DC Action for Children, says this policy change will likely devastate the District’s child care sector. Here is her full statement.

“OSSE continued payments to subsidy programs to ensure they could stay afloat during the pandemic and provide essential services. To cut payments now, would completely upend their initial investment and simultaneously decimate nearly half of the child care sector. The child care slots Mayor Bowser has advocated to increase will be lost. 

Child care programs are now six months into doing the heavy lifting of educating and caring for young children while implementing CDC and DC Health-mandated health and safety guidelines, with no end in sight. Many program operators are reporting that their expenses are at least twice as much as before the public health emergency, while the number of children they serve has sharply decreased. They’ve seen other forms of revenue dry up since the pandemic began. COVID-19 is still with us. Implementing a policy that would greatly reduce many providers’ payments will only exacerbate DC’s child care crisis. 

Child care is essential to a thriving local economy. We urge OSSE to extend the current payments through at least December 31.”