STATEMENT: CAP’s Neera Tanden Applauds Introduction of Murray-Scott Child Care Bill

Washington D.C. — Neera Tanden, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement today, praising the introduction of a first-of-its-kind progressive child care bill by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), “The Child Care for Working Families Act.”

Every child, regardless of income or ZIP code, deserves the chance to succeed, which includes starting life in safe, nurturing, and educational child care, either at home or a center. What’s more, parents shouldn’t have to choose between affordable, quality child care and earning a decent living to support their families.

Sen. Murray and Rep. Scott address these challenges directly in their bold new bill that will help to provide peace of mind to American families by lowering costs for middle- and low-income families; investing in high-quality programs; addressing child care deserts; offering parents greater choice; and creating good jobs for teachers and caregivers.

At CAP, we are proud to have worked alongside Sen. Murray and Rep. Scott and a strong coalition of partners to help lead the progressive charge to make child care affordable and accessible to millions of Americans and are grateful for their extraordinary leadership on this urgent issue. Working families are the backbone of our economy, and our children are the future of our workforce, which is why we simply cannot afford more inaction from the Trump administration when it comes to child care.

CAP, in partnership with the Make It Work Campaign, recently published “A Blueprint for Child Care Reform,” a report that outlines progressive policy solutions to tackle one of the most significant expenses in a family’s budget. The high costs of child care often force working parents to compromise on quality of care, more women to opt out of the workforce, and families to sacrifice saving for other needs, such as retirement or college—challenges that disproportionately harm communities of color, low-income families, and families in rural areas. Equally vexing is the fact that child care supply is low, with half of all Americans live in a child care desert, according to a recent report from CAP. The Murray-Scott bill directly embraces many of the proposals laid out in the blueprint.

The “Child Care for Working Families Act” will:

Lower the cost of living for working families by limiting what parents pay to 7 percent of their income—regardless of the age or number of children in their home—essentially allowing people to keep more of their money to pay for child care.

Support flexible and quality child care options by addressing care needs from infants through school-age children, including an expansion of high-quality options in areas that do not have them today. The bill supports after-school and summer care; child care centers; family homes; and home-based care as an integral part of child care and addresses concerns for families with complicated schedules.

Create good paying jobs by guaranteeing a living wage to child care providers. The “Child Care for Working Families Act” invests in higher compensation and paid training opportunities for currently underpaid teachers and caregivers, which will help attract and retain a talented, dedicated, and well-trained workforce, leading to higher-quality care.

Invest in the next generation through quality child care programs by setting standards that provide an enriching care environment and by giving child care providers the resources to improve. “The Child Care for Working Families Act” addresses child care deserts by investing in supply, creating more options for parents.

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For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Devon Kearns at 202.741.6290 or dkearns@americanprogressaction.org.