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Day Care Center Workers Relieved As New Stimulus Package Offers $39 Billion Boost To Struggling Industry

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Finding child care has been a hurdle to the economic recovery, especially for women.

The new stimulus package recently signed by President Joe Biden is allocating $39 billion to keep day care centers open.

At Henry Street Settlement Early Childhood Center, only half of the students have returned in person. The rest are learning remotely at home.

"We've spent money on new computers and new technology, a new Smartboard," program director Carol Carrozelli told CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas.

Costs caused by the pandemic quickly add up.

"Having all of the items, such as the mask and the soap and the cleaner," Carrozelli said.

According to a survey conducted by the National Association for the Education of Young Children, 81% of respondents say their programs are serving fewer kids and 56% of centers are losing money every day they remain open.

Now, $39 billion allocated in the recent federal stimulus package gives a boost to the struggling child care industry.

The Day Care Council Of New York is helping providers access the funds.

"Scholarship tuition for parents to go to work, to pay for child care, PPE supplies for providers, and then next operation grants," said Andrea Anthony, executive director of the Day Care Council Of New York.

Overwhelmingly, early childhood centers are small businesses owned and staffed by women, especially women of color.

Add to that, women are often managing the child care needs for their families, which, during the pandemic, forced many out of the workforce.

"I hope this foundation includes a change in the philosophy, a change in people's thoughts on how they see mothers going back to work," Anthony said.

From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Henry Street has provided that support to families who need it the most.

Programs that invest in children, which helps the economy get back on track.

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