29 Jun Statement on H.R. 7327: The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act in Children, Education and Workforce
As states begin to reopen, many child care programs are as well. For providers, reopening is just the first of a number of ongoing challenges that will plague the child care market in the coming months. As members from both sides of the aisle of the Ways and Means Committee recently discussed, parents need child care to return to work, but are concerned about their ability to access safe and affordable care in the coming months. Simultaneously, providers are pessimistic about their chances of remaining in business and are in dire need of financial assistance.
BPCA is pleased to see members of Congress continuing to seek creative solutions to our nation’s child care crisis, as evidenced by the introduction of H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act. This legislation advances the conversation about the need for comprehensive solutions to the child care crisis.
The BPC Early Childhood Initiative’s first report, authored in 2017 by former Rep. George Miller and Sen. Rick Santorum, called for full refundability and a doubling in value of the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, as well as increases to federal child care funding—all included this proposal—which will substantially expand support to low-income families who are especially burdened by high child care costs but need child care in order to work. We are also grateful that child care workers have been recognized as an essential component of our nationwide workforce in the Act, eligible for the very services they offer to others. Lastly, the proposal includes grants to improve child care facilities which we have long championed, and are of critical importance now more than ever if providers are to reopen safely and in accordance with new health requirements.
In the coming weeks, Congress must think holistically about the policy solutions that would promote parent’s return to work and stabilize the child care market. Providers are in desperate need of dedicated stabilization funding to cover holes in their budgets, more family child care providers are needed to meet the changing preferences of parents, and states that have been the hardest hit need additional resources to recover equitably. In order to find solutions to the problems afflicting parent’s ability to return to work and our nation’s ability to recover, bipartisan common ground must be the goal.
“We are encouraged to see members continue to engage on these critical topics, and strongly urge the continuation of a bipartisan and bicameral discussion on how to shore up the child care market for parents, providers, and the economy,” said Linda Smith, director of BPC’s Early Childhood Initiative.