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At the end of September, pandemic-era emergency childcare funding is set to expire. After the American Rescue Plan passed in 2021, $24 billion in grants were available to an estimated 220,000 childcare providers in an effort to stabilize costs and cover expenses like rent, wages, and supplies. Now, many impacted facilities are expected to raise tuition, lay off staff, or close altogether.

CivicScience previously studied the COVID-19 pandemic’s extensive effects on working moms and found that 28% of mothers who left the workforce remained out of work and caring full-time for a child as of May. The latest research re-examines this data right before an end to the pandemic-era childcare funding.

Compared to the May data, a similar percentage of mothers are still out of the workforce and caring for their child(ren) full-time (28%). That said, the biggest shift has occurred in mothers who have returned to the workforce – with or without full-time childcare. There’s been a two-percentage-point increase in mothers who’ve returned to the workforce with full-time childcare, but an even larger five-percentage-point increase among mothers back in the workforce with only part-time or no childcare (up to 30%).

The expiration of funds could have significant cascading effects on working parents. While previous CivicScience data highlighted a high percentage of mothers staying out of the workforce due to losing childcare, the latest data points to a sizable chunk leaving the workforce if they lose access to childcare in the coming months. Among the Gen Pop, 39% of parents/guardians rely on childcare in some capacity (and 37% of moms rely on childcare). And then among those who rely on it, one-quarter of U.S. parents claim it’s ‘very likely’ they’ll leave the workforce if they lose childcare, and 46% claim it’s at least ‘somewhat likely.’

This is likely to have a heightened impact on working mothers. Women are six percentage points more likely than men to say they’re ‘very likely’ to leave the workforce if they lose childcare in the coming months. Just over half of mothers say they’re at least ‘somewhat likely’ to leave the workforce under these conditions, compared to 40% of working fathers.

CivicScience will continue monitoring how childcare shortages impact working parents and drive adjustments to their consumer habits. Curious to know more about how your business might be impacted by the expiration of COVID-19 emergency funds at the end of this month? Book a meeting with CivicScience today to stay ahead of upcoming shifts.