COVID-19 has brought with it a storm of uncertainty and instability for the District’s child care providers, many of whom already struggled to make ends meet prior to the public health emergency. In this exceptionally challenging time, one of the few sources of stability has been the child care subsidy program. The program supports nearly half of the District’s child care programs to some degree, all of whom serve families facing significant barriers to opportunity because of racism or economic marginalization. Throughout the pandemic, the Office of the State Superintendent - which oversees the child care subsidy program - has continued paying participants set rates meant to mirror their usual payments. These continued payments have played an important role in trying to stabilize the child care sector over the past months as costs to care for infants and toddlers within important, but stringent, CDC and DC Health and safety guidelines have, in some cases, doubled or tripled.