Harder Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Address Child Care Affordability & Accessibility Crisis
WASHINGTON – Today, Representatives Josh Harder (CA-10) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (WA-3) introduced the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act to address the shortage of affordable child care facilities and professionals across the nation, especially in rural areas. This bipartisan legislation will create a $100 million grant program to address the growing crisis of child care accessibility and affordability by training and retaining highly qualified professionals and funding the building and expansion of child care centers. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Dan Sullivan (AK) have introduced identical bipartisan legislation in the Senate.
“Right now, it costs more for a year of child care in California than a year at Stanislaus State. That’s unaffordable for far too many Central Valley families,” said Rep. Harder. “This bipartisan bill is another step toward ensuring that every working family here in the Central Valley has access to safe and affordable child care no matter where they come from or where they live. It means better care for our kids, better jobs for our workers, and a better future for our community.”
“Prior to the pandemic, Southwest Washington was already considered a ‘child care desert,’ and COVID has only magnified that challenge for families here and across the country,” said Rep. Herrera Beutler. “Working parents and guardians need solutions like the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act that will increase the availability and affordability of child care in Southwest Washington, no matter where families live. I’m pleased to help address the child care crisis from Congress as we emerge from this crisis and endeavor to get our economy back up and running.”
“Affordable, quality child care must be available to every family. Child care shortages across the country pose a moral and financial issue for communities when parents are forced to decide between working and staying at home with their children,” Sen. Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act will help ensure that every family has good options available to them when planning for their careers and their children.”
“While COVID-19 greatly exacerbated our nation’s pre-existing child care crisis, it also shed light on how crucial the child care industry is to our economy, and how big a role it plays in our recovery. Without access to child care, parents won’t be able to rejoin the workforce, and our economy will continue to suffer,” said Roy Chrobocinski, Director of Federal Government Relations at Save the Children Action Network (SCAN). “Therefore, SCAN is thrilled that the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act is being introduced, for there is no better time to ensure families can access high-quality and affordable child care, no matter where they live. We applaud Representatives Herrera Beutler and Harder bringing this issue front and center.”