HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Child care providers across the nation are scrambling to find the money to stay open due to federal COVID-19 funds that will end at the end of September.

“Programs would need to reduce wages for staff — even lower than they already are — increase tuition for families, serve fewer children or shut down all together,” Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) said.

She said 70,000 child care programs across the nation could close if that funding isn’t extended.

The centers closing mean that about 3 million children would lose their spots, and 230,000 child care workers would lose their jobs.

In Connecticut, 37,000 children would lose care when more than 900 programs close. About 4,700 jobs would be lost.

DeLauro’s solution is a new bill that proposes using $16 billion each year for the next five years to close the gap.