Committee Democrats Promote Bold Solution to Ensure Universal Access to Quality Child Care for Working Families
WASHINGTON – TODAY, the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education (ECESE) held a hearing entitled, “Strengthening Welfare to Work with Child Care.” Across the country, far too many working families lack access to affordable, high-quality child care. In many states, the cost of child care is higher than the cost of attending college. This makes it difficult for parents to balance the costs of child care with holding down a good-paying job and providing for their family.
“Too many parents are priced out of preschool and child care,” said Vice Ranking Member Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01). “I hear from working families who are struggling to come up with the thousands of dollars they need for child care or preschool. Our assistance and support is woefully inadequate. More than 80 percent of families who qualify for child care assistance don’t receive it because of lack of funding. That’s unacceptable. No child should be denied a strong start just because of their family's economic circumstances.”
H.R. 3773, the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCFWA), co-sponsored by 117 Members, including all 17 Democratic Committee Members, and supported by more than 100 national and state groups, helps to solve this problem by establishing a state-federal partnership so working families have access to affordable, high-quality child care. It also helps ensure that early childhood educators are able to get the support and compensation they need for the critical work they are doing.
The CCFWA “expands access and makes it possible for more working parents to benefit from subsidy assistance,” stated Dr. Tammy L. Mann, President of the Governing Board of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). “Americans need a comprehensive public investment that delivers on the science of early learning and advances our current and future workforce … [i]n addition to expanding access, the CCFWFA aims to increase workforce training and compensation supports such that wages aligns with credential and experiences leading to an increase in the number of early educators earning a living wage. Without the benefits of critical public investments, it is impossible to address growing and stark wage disparities.”
At a third of the cost of the Republican’s tax giveaway, the CCFWFA would result in a significantly positive return on investment to taxpayers, and will lead to better education outcomes, stronger job earnings, and lower crime rates. Committee Democrats are dedicated to promoting solutions that will ensure our nation’s children – and the families and workers who provide their care – have the support they need to succeed and thrive.
Democratic Press Office, 202-226-0853
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