Washington, D.C. — A new analysis from the Center for American Progress found that the Child Care for Working Families Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), would create 2.3 million new jobs, which includes jobs from the child care and early education sector, as well as an increase in employed parents.
CAP finds that the legislation would eventually result in 1.6 million parents—primarily mothers—joining the labor force as a direct result of new child care subsidies and the reduced child care cost. The child care and early education workforce would expand by an estimated 700,000 new jobs, while pay for teachers and caregivers in both the new and existing roles in this sector would increase by 26 percent.
People working in child care centers would see their average annual income go from $26,000 to $33,000.
“A significant boost in assistance to families to assure their children are in safe, high-quality child care, as envisioned in the Child Care and Working Families Act, would not only greatly improve the lives and prospects of young children, our analysis shows that it would create a substantial increase in employment rates among low and moderate-income families. The bill would add more than 2 million jobs to the U.S. economy, including 700,000 more jobs specifically in the child care and early education industry, drawing a stronger workforce in this often ignored sector of the economy,” says Ajay Chaudry.
“While the Republican majority in Congress is working to raise taxes on the middle class, there is a bill on the table that would provide a desperately needed shot to the economy. The Murray-Scott bill would create 2.3 million jobs and give peace of mind for families that they have affordable child care from high-quality, valued child care professionals. Rather than lavish tax breaks for the rich, this bill specifically helps working families,” said Katie Hamm, vice president of Early Childhood Policy at CAP.
The Child Care for Working Families Act would:
- Guarantee child care assistance to low-income and middle-class families earning up to 150 percent of the median income in their state, which will more than double the number of children eligible
- Limit child care payments to 7 percent of a family’s income to align with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ definition of affordable child care
- Ensure that people who work in child care earn a living wage and are compensated at the same level as elementary school teachers if they have the same credentials and experience
- Make investments to improve quality in child care programs and build the supply of child care in underserved areas