Shaheen, Klobuchar & Sullivan Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Address the Shortage of Affordable, Quality Child Care
**The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would provide competitive grants to states to train child care workers and build or renovate child care facilities**
**Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to assist the child care sector, which has been among the hardest hit the pandemic**
(Washington, DC) — U.S. Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) reintroduced the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act to address the national shortage of affordable, quality child care, especially in rural communities. Many families are struggling to find access to available child care, and states are continuing to experience an expansion of “child care deserts” due to the noticeable decline in the number of child care providers, which is an issue that has only been exacerbated by this pandemic. In the House of Representatives, a companion bill was introduced by Representatives Josh Harder (D-CA) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA).
“For many working parents in New Hampshire, access to affordable child care is the difference between being able to return to work and provide for their families and forgoing employment because child care providers aren’t available or are financially out of reach. In order to get our economy back up and running, Congress needs to address the child care crisis families are facing, which is exactly what this legislation would help do.” said Shaheen. “The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act is bipartisan legislation that would increase the availability and affordability of quality child care for Granite State families throughout our state, particularly in our rural communities. Ensuring our families have access to affordable child care is one of my top priorities in the Senate, and I’ll continue to fight for child care funding to support providers in ongoing COVID-19 relief negotiations.”
The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would:
- Help address the shortage of affordable child care and qualified child care professionals
- Provide competitive grants to states to support (1) the education, training, or retention of the child care workforce or (2) building, renovating, or expanding child care facilities in areas with child care shortages.
- Require applicants to demonstrate how their projects would:
- Increase the availability and affordability of quality child care, including during nontraditional work hours.
- Help workers obtain portable, stackable credentials to foster increased mobility and opportunities for advancement in child care careers.
- Enhance retention and compensation of quality child care professionals.
Shaheen has led efforts in Congress to assist the child care sector, which has been among the hardest hit the pandemic. In the emergency COVID-19 relief legislation that passed Congress and was signed into law in December, Shaheen successfully included language that provided billions of dollars in urgently needed relief for child care providers and resulted in New Hampshire receiving nearly $20 million to support child care programs during the pandemic. Last month, Shaheen participated in a call with Brian Deese, head of the White House’s National Economic Council, and a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss President Biden’s proposed COVID-19 stimulus package. During the call, Shaheen highlighted the necessity of providing additional financial support to child care providers to allow them to continue operating, and support New Hampshire’s economic recovery.