WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) co-sponsored the Child Care for Working Families Act, a comprehensive early learning and child care bill to ensure affordable, high-quality child care for working middle class families and those living paycheck to paycheck. Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Representative Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, chair of the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives with 98 cosponsors.
The Child Care for Working Families Act would address the current early learning and care crisis by ensuring that no family under 150 percent of state median income pays more than seven percent of their income on child care. Families would pay their fair share for care on a sliding scale, regardless of the number of children they have. Families under 75 percent of the state median income will not have to pay anything at all. The bill would also support universal access to high-quality preschool programs for all 3- and 4-year olds. Finally, the bill would significantly improve compensation and training for the child care workforce to ensure that our nation’s teachers and caregivers have the support they need, as well as the children they are caring for, to thrive.
The Child Care for Working Families Act would jumpstart our economy by creating 770,000 new child care jobs and allowing 1.6 million parents, primarily mothers, go back to work. It would also lift one million families out of poverty.
Bipartisan support for child care and early learning is already building in Congress. In March 2018, Congress agreed to the largest increase in child care funding ever, and continued the increased investments in child care while increasing funding for Head Start in the Fiscal Year 2019 bill.
The bill is also cosponsored by Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Brown (D-OH), Cantwell (D-WA), Cardin (D-MD), Casey (D-PA), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Gillibrand (D-NY), Harris (D-CA), Hassan (D-NH), Hirono (D-HI), Klobuchar (D-MN), Leahy (D-VT), Markey (D-MA), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Murphy (D-CT), Murry (D-WA), Peters (D-MI), Reed (D-RI), Rosen (D-NV), Sanders (I-VT), Schatz (D-HI), Schumer (D-NY), Smith (D-MN), Udall (D-NM), Van Hollen (D-MD), Warren (D-MA), Whitehouse (D-RI), and Wyden (D-OR).
Legislative text of the Child Care for Working Families Act can be found HERE.
Fact sheet on the Child Care for Working Families Act can be found HERE.