Crowley, Casey, Frankel Introduce New Legislation to Expand Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care
Child C.A.R.E. Act Boosts Funding for States, Putting Child Care in Reach for More American Families
Bill Dramatically Increases Access to High Quality Child Care
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY-14), Vice Chair of the Democratic Caucus, along with Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL-22) announced the introduction of the Child Care Access to Resources for Early-Learning (C.A.R.E.) Act, legislation that would expand access to affordable, quality child care for hardworking American families. Backed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and a wide variety of advocacy organizations, the Child C.A.R.E. Act would ensure that both parents and child care providers have the resources they need to ensure high-quality early care and learning for children under the age of 4.
“When the cost of child care exceeds college tuition, rent, and even mortgage payments, that’s a big problem. Quality child care shouldn’t be a luxury, yet too many parents can’t meet these high costs of care – and no parent should have to choose between putting food on the table or knowing their child is well-cared for. Our Child C.A.R.E. Act is an investment in American families, an investment in successful child care programs, and an investment in our children,” said Rep. Crowley.
“High quality child care means that millions of parents can go to work secure in the knowledge that their children will be well cared for, and that those children are being put on the path to future success,” Senator Casey said. “It’s critical that we invest in children in the dawn of their lives.”
“Early investment in the development of our children pays big dividends in the future,” said Rep. Frankel.
The Child C.A.R.E. Act boosts funding for child care assistance for low-income families through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), one of the main federal funding sources that support early care and education. Specifically, the bill increases mandatory funding for child care subsidies for children under 4 by $25 billion over five years, in line with what has been proposed by President Obama in his fiscal year 2017 budget to improve access to and quality of child care across the country. The bill also boosts the quality of child care by requiring that states use these funds to align providers with specific, more advanced quality standards.
In addition, the legislation includes an investment in the child care workforce, giving child care providers the ability to attract and retain quality staff. Currently, child care workers tend to earn less than many other professions, even ones that require less training, despite the fact that they are entrusted with lives and with the development of young minds.
The legislation has been endorsed by the following organizations: American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), American Federation of Teachers, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Child Care Aware America, Children's Defense Fund, Common Sense Kids Action, Easter Seals, First Five Years Fund, First Focus Campaign for Children, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association for Family Child Care, National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Center for Learning Disabilities, National Urban League, National Women's Law Center, Save the Children, Save the Children Action Network, Service Employee International Union (SEIU), and Zero to Three.
To read the bill, please click here.