The American Rescue Plan, passed by congressional Democrats in March 2021, included $24 billion in new grants to child care centers to stabilize the industry. But those subsidies were always intended to be temporary, and the last of that largest pot of federal funds is set to expire Saturday.

Over 70,000 child care centers could close, according to one estimate, which would lead to 3.2 million children losing access to child care. Already, many parents have had to cut back their hours or leave the workforce due to a lack of child care options and high costs. More child care closures threaten to further escalate those difficult choices for families — and Latinx families and providers are poised to be especially hard hit.

“It’s a serious crisis that the U.S. is just creeping toward,” said Xochitl Oseguera, vice president of advocacy group MomsRising and its Spanish-language arm, MamásConPoder. “And a child care crisis that can be avoided.”

Caregivers and advocates say that caregiving is not just a deeply ingrained value in many Latinx cultures, but a critical driver of economic prosperity and freedom in their communities. Latinas are overrepresented among child care providers and are also the most likely to have children in their homes. Some states have stepped in to support child care centers or parents who need care, but the loss of federal support leaves many in limbo. And Latina providers and advocates are raising the alarm.

“We are the supply of child care in this country,” Oseguera said. “We take care of children, we open small businesses, we are essential to the child care infrastructure. This is not just, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not gonna have a place to bring my child,’ it’s, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m gonna have to close my business that takes care of 10 community children, that allows 10 families to go to work. ”

Latinas are more likely to be child care providers and to have children in the home who need care. The end of federal funds could hit them hard.

Read the full article about latinas in caregiving by Grace Panetta at The 19th.