The COVID-19 crisis has not only exacerbated inequities in child care access for families, but has also decimated the finances of child care providers, many of whom are women of color already economically disadvantaged by systemic racism and sexism.

State and local chambers of commerce are uniquely positioned to offer urgently needed small business resources to child care providers, while also acting as powerful connectors among community leaders interested in supporting families with young children.

That‘s why in a new study, The Education Trust and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation interviewed child care providers and state and local chamber leaders across the U.S. to identify opportunities for supporting working families with young children by supporting female providers of color.

Many child care providers told us that amid the COVID-19 crisis, they have faced funding challenges, safety and health concerns, and barriers to talent acquisition and professional development. Several providers reported that racial and gender bias has posed challenges within their local business community. Many said they felt less supported than other businesses due to their race.

State and local chamber leaders noted that they and their business members are facing several challenges during the pandemic related to child care and outlined several ways that state and local chambers could support providers of color and help align the needs and services of providers with those of their communities.

Our upcoming report describes these challenges and opportunities and offers recommendations for how state and local chambers of commerce can support working families by supporting female providers of color.