On April 22, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (VA-03) introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, comprehensive legislation that addresses the child care crisis by increasing access for families to afford high-quality child care. The bill specifically looks to cap child care costs at 7% income, increase assistance for more families so they can choose the child care arrangements best for them, calls for investment in family child care educators and growing the field.
Lanette Dumas, executive director of the National Association for Family Child Care, issued the following statement:
“Families rely on child care to be able to work and provide for their households. They shouldn’t be forced to forego this care or leave the workforce because its unaffordable or unavailable. At the same time though, family child care providers – a majority women workforce who were rapidly leaving the profession even before the pandemic – need support to thrive. As we move from recovery to rebuilding, our focus must be on ensuring child care is available.
“One thing that is important about the Child Care for Working Families Act is the recognition of the role – and need to compensate – child care providers themselves. Family child care educators are essential to our economy. The legislation calls for meaningful financial support needed for operators to stay in business to do their job, including those in centers and home-based child care.
“Children are learning wherever they are. We appreciate the recognition of the diversity of family needs, and the diversity of the child care settings in our communities. We need to close gaps within our systems that adds burdens onto families and strengthen our infrastructure for family child care providers so they are valued for the work they do.
“The Child Care for Working Families Act is a crucial next step in driving us to build child care better and to look to a future of caregiving and healthy child development that is part of a just economy. Thank you to Senator Murray and Representative Scott for boldly leading once again.”