Washington, D.C. — Today, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the Child Care Is Essential Act, a new bill that would provide $50 billion in additional federal child care funding for states through the Child Care Development Block Grant program. A companion bill will be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week by Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA). The legislation follows a recent CAP analysis that shows the United States could lose nearly 4.5 million licensed child care slots as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Katie Hamm, Vice President of Early Childhood Policy, released the following statement on the bill’s introduction:
Without robust federal investments like those made under this bill, nearly half of the country’s child care supply is at risk of permanent closure because of the coronavirus pandemic. This toll would suppress America’s ability to rebound from this crisis by making it impossible for parents to find child care, driving up its already unaffordable price, and costing tens of thousands of child care workers—most of whom are women and people of color—their jobs. To help our economy and families thrive, and to give employers certainty that child care won’t prevent their workers from returning to work, Congress should pass this bill and the president should sign it immediately.