A day after childcare providers rallied across the state for more funding to stay open, local and state officials held a panel discussion in Stamford to talk about the ways the state has helped such businesses survive the pandemic.

One thing they can all agree on: Keeping childcare facilities open and growing the industry is critical to the local economy.

Officials also unveiled a new Women’s Business Development Council grant program starting March 23 for childcare providers — the state will waive licensing fees for 12 months to help new childcare businesses open.

“Accessible childcare is such an important part of our economic infrastructure and we saw this exacerbated during the pandemic when frontline workers, our essential workers, our nurses at Stamford Hospital, were struggling to get to work,” said Mayor Caroline Simmons from the office of the WBDC headquartered in Stamford.


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