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Shaheen Helps Introduce Bill to Provide Additional Child Care Funding

(Washington, D.C.) -- U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) joined U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Patty Murray (D-WA) to help introduce the Child Care Stabilization Act to provide additional federal child care stabilization funding—which was provided in the American Rescue Plan—and ensure that child care providers can keep their doors open and continue serving children and families in every part of the country.

“During the pandemic, an unprecedented number of families from every corner of our state struggled to find affordable and reliable child care,” said Senator Shaheen. “Through the American Rescue Plan and annual government funding legislation, I’ve helped deliver support for child care programs in New Hampshire and throughout the country. I’m advocating for this bill which would ensure working families continue to have access to affordable child care.”

When the pandemic pushed the already-fragile child care sector to the brink of collapse, Democrats in Congress responded by delivering historic federal investments to save the sector and prevent families from losing their child care spots—including $24 billion in child care stabilization funding. The funding has made an enormous difference for Granite State families— allowing nearly 500 child care providers across NH to access relief funding that was used to preserve slots, stabilize tuition rates and keep child care accessible for working families. However, child care providers in New Hampshire and across the country are once again facing existential funding gaps that threaten dire consequences for families and our economy.

The Child Care Stabilization Act would provide $16 billion in federal funding each year for the next five years to continue the American Rescue Plan’s successful Child Care Stabilization Grant program. This investment would ensure child care providers continue to receive a stable and reliable source of funding to help them deliver high-quality and affordable child care for working families across the country.

A one-pager on the Child Care Stabilization Act is available HERE.

Along with Shaheen, Sanders and Murray, 34 Senators are original cosponsors of the legislation, including U.S. Senators Schumer (D-NY), Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Booker (D-NJ), Brown (D-OH), Cardin (D-MD), Casey (D-PA), Cortez Masto (D-NV), Duckworth (D-IL), Durbin (D-IL), Fetterman (D-PA), Gillibrand (D-NY), Heinrich (D-NM), Hirono (D-HI), Kaine (D-VA), King (I-ME), Klobuchar (D-MN), Luján (D-NM), Markey (D-MA), Menendez (D-NJ), Merkley (D-OR), Murphy (D-CT), Padilla (D-CA), Reed (D-RI), Smith (D-MN), Stabenow (D-MI), Van Hollen (D-MD), Warnock (D-GA), Warren (D-MA), Welch (D-VT), Whitehouse (D-RI) and Wyden (D-OR).

In the Senate, Shaheen has been a champion for funding to support child care and early education. Last month, Shaheen visited the Gorham Community Learning Center to discuss the state of child care in Coos County. Recently, Shaheen joined Senator Murray to introduce the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would provide affordable child care for all working families, expand access to preschool programs and increase wages for early childhood workers. She also joined U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) in reintroducing the Childcare Workforce and Facilities Act to address the national shortage of affordable, quality child care, especially in rural communities. In the government funding bill for fiscal year (FY) 2023, Senator Shaheen worked to include a $1.86 billion increase to $8.02 billion for Childcare and Development Block Grants to states, as well as a $960 million increase to Head Start, funding the program at nearly $12 billion for FY 2023. The law additionally includes an increase of $25 million to $315 million for Preschool Development Grants.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, she led efforts in Congress to assist the child care sector. In the emergency COVID-19 relief legislation that passed Congress and was signed into law in 2020 and the American Rescue Plan, Shaheen successfully included language that provided $50 billion dollars in urgently needed support for child care.