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Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The White House announced Thursday it's releasing $39 billion from the American Rescue Plan "to address the child care crisis caused by COVID-19."

Why it matters: The pandemic has had a devastating impact on the child care industry, with many daycares and other providers forced to close due to low enrollment and the high costs to keep facilities safe and clean.

What they're saying: Vice President Kamala Harris called the funding the "single largest investment in child care in the nation’s history.”

  • "For many, many people and many women in particular, child care has often been the prerequisite for their ability to work, and for many others, child care is their work, and that's why in America, child care should be readily available and affordable for all of those who need it," she added.

Details: The $39 billion will be provided through two funds, including $24 billion in funding to help "child care providers to reopen or stay open, provide safe and healthy learning environments, keep workers on payroll, and provide mental health supports for educators and children," the administration said.

  • The other fund will provide $15 billion "for states to make child care more affordable for more families, increase access to high-quality care for families receiving subsidies," and increase compensation for early childhood workers.

Harris also highlighted the expansion of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, which will allow many families with children under age 13 to receive up to $8,000 towards child care expenses when they file their taxes for 2021.

Go deeper

Biden administration moves to reverse Trump-era rule on abortion referrals

Abortion rights and anti-abortion rights activists protest in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in January 2020. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration on Wednesday moved to reverse a Trump-era rule banning federally funded health care providers from referring women for abortions.

Why it matters: The rule, which took effect in 2019, prompted Planned Parenthood and other health care providers to withdraw from the federal Title X family planning program, whose grantees provide birth control and other services to mainly low-income individuals.

Apr 14, 2021 - Axios Denver

Mental health poised to be Colorado's next pandemic priority

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic left no life unscathed, and the universal experience of enduring a tumultuous year has made health and wellness a pressing priority for people from all walks of life.

  • "There’s a new dynamic. … It’s almost like it’s OK to get help," Dr. Carl Clark, president and CEO of the Mental Health Center of Denver, tells Axios.

Parkland shooting victims' families settle suit with school district

A makeshift memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, 2020. Photo: Matias J. Ocner/Miami Herald/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Families and survivors of a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., reached a $25 million settlement in their lawsuit against the Broward County school district Monday, per the South Florida SunSentinel.

Why it matters: The deal was reached in the suit over the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High after the school district won a Florida Supreme Court ruling that could have capped damages at $300,000 in total without approval from the state legislature, AP notes.