Comprehensive Child Care Bill Provides Needed Investment in Working Families

This statement can be attributed to Olivia Golden, executive director of the Center for Law and Social Policy.

Washington, D.C., February 26, 2019—Today Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), along with 131 cosponsors in the House and Senate, will reintroduce the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would guarantee affordable, high-quality child care to millions of working families. Affordable child care can make a critical difference in families’ economic success and children’s healthy development. The bill takes a comprehensive approach to expanding access to child care assistance, supporting a well trained and compensated workforce, and building the supply of high-quality care.

Without access to high-quality affordable child care, working families struggle to gain economic stability and their children may have inequitable access to the supports they need for their healthiest development. Families with high-quality child care realize benefits such as more sustained parental employment and better child outcomes. Yet across the board, families with low incomes have limited access to affordable child care. This is particularly true for children of color—especially Latinx and Asian children—whose families are more likely to be juggling the challenges of low-wage jobs, which include unpredictable schedules, limited or no benefits, and insufficient work hours.

The bill’s reintroduction puts an important stake in the ground for congressional action. In 2018, Congress approved a $2.4 billion increase in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which was an important step toward the far greater investment in child care that is needed.

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) is pleased to see greater public attention on the real need for increased access to high-quality child care for all families. Now is the time to act. We look forward to working closely with Senator Murray, Representative Scott, and other Congressional leaders to continue to elevate this important public conversation, invest in child care, and take bold steps toward meeting the child care needs of all children and families—particularly those who have low incomes.