Biden to Tout Free Child Care Through Big Providers For Vaccination Appointments

Lack of child care remains a major barrier to vaccination, experts say. The C.D.C. recently reported that vaccination coverage among adults was lower among those living in counties with lower socioeconomic status and with higher percentages of households with children, single parents, and people with disabilities.

White House officials, previewing the president’s announcement on condition of anonymity, said two of the four providers — KinderCare and Learning Care Group, which together have more than 2,500 sites around the country — will offer free, drop-in appointments to any parent or caregiver who needs support to get vaccinated or recover from vaccination.

The Y.M.C.A., with more than 500 sites nationwide, will offer drop-in care during vaccination appointments, the officials said. And Bright Horizons, which partners with more than 1,100 employers to provide child care, will also provide free care to support the vaccination of more than 10 million workers employed by the companies they serve.

“There is no question that both transportation and child care are real barriers for people,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health. “The question that is unclear for me is whether offering free child care solves that problem” because parents might be unwilling to leave their children with caregivers they don’t know.

To that end, the officials said, Mr. Biden will encourage states to use money from the American Rescue Plan, the $1.9 trillion stimulus package passed by Congress, to provide financial incentives or bonuses to smaller community child care providers to stay open extra hours or otherwise help people to get vaccinated.

As the rate of vaccination in the United States has climbed, cases have plummeted.

But experts are warning Americans not to get complacent, and say that it is likely the country will continue to see spikes in infections in certain regions like the South, where vaccination rates are low and the summer heat is driving people indoors, where the coronavirus spreads more efficiently.

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