The COVID-19 pandemic took a considerable toll on individuals, families, and communities but it was especially pronounced for our nation’s children and the individuals caring for them. During the pandemic, childcare providers struggled to stay open because of reduced enrollment; working families faced difficulty in accessing the care and services needed for their children; and children suffered from learning loss and impacts to their social and emotional health.

To ensure an equitable recovery, local government leaders must prioritize the needs of those disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Fortunately, the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) provided $65.1 billion to cities, towns and villages through the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program which can be used to address some of these challenges.

This report contains details on how four cities: Austin, TX; Boston, MA; Phoenix, AZ, and Milwaukee, WI used their SLFRF to support early childhood.