Cuts May Upend S.C.’s Child Care System
South Carolina parents struggling to secure adequate child care may face additional hardship soon as billions of dollars of federal stabilization funding is poised to expire Sept. 30, experts say. The potential loss to the Palmetto State is staggering – up to almost $900 million a year.
“When parents don’t have child care, it impacts the kids, their families, employers and the greater community,” said Bett Williams, chief communications officer of Columbia nonprofit Children’s Trust of South Carolina. “We look forward to working with the state’s leadership on developing workable, sustainable solutions to this complex problem.”
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided nearly $40 billion in child care funds to states which allocated $15 billion in supplement funding to the existing federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, according to Karen Schulman, director of state child care policy for the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C.
South Carolina was allocated $183 million in federal CCDBG funding in 2023, she said. In addition, ARPA provided South Carolina with $273 million in supplemental CCDBG funding and $437 million in child care stabilization grant funding.
“Federal funding is crucial for supporting South Carolina’s child care system,” Schulman told the Charleston City Paper.