MINNESOTA-- Minnesota's junior senator is pushing for billions of dollars in funding for childcare, which she says has been pushed to the brink by the pandemic.
Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) held a discussion Friday with a parent, a business owner, and others who have been impacted by what she called the childcare crisis.
Smith said new data shows the country is losing childcare providers, especially in rural areas.
That forces parents to leave their jobs, or stops them from re-entering the workforce.
She said it's taking a toll on the economy, struggling to recover from the pandemic.
"Childcare is part of the basic economic infrastructure that we need in this country just like housing and transportation and our economy isn't going to work if families can't find safe, affordable, good-quality childcare options," said Smith.
She said $50 billion in funding is needed to stabalize the childcare system.
Congress already approved $10 billion in the December Covid relief package.
Smith said she's pushing for another $40 billion in the next round of Covid relief.