Invest in Quality, Affordable Child Care: Support the Child C.A.R.E. Act
Investing in our future starts with caring for our infants and toddlers. While the presidential candidates continue to fire personal attacks at each other, there are several members of Congress working on innovative solutions to some of the toughest challenges facing parents and caregivers in America.
Last week, House & Senate lawmakers introduced legislation that would improve access to quality, affordable child care for low-income families and boost wages for child care workers. With the cost of child care now exceeding rent in every state, the proposal couldn’t come soon enough.
The Child Care Access to Resources for Early Learning (CARE) Act, sponsored by Senator Casey and Representative Crowley, calls for a $25 billion investment in the Child Care Development Block Grant, which the authors say would ensure that all families with children under age four living at or below 200% of the poverty level would have access to quality child care by 2021.
To ensure improvements in both access and quality, states that receive money through the grant would be required to spend 80% of funds on expanding the number of children served by quality programs and 12% of funds on supporting the childcare workforce through opportunities for education and training.
Increasing the subsidy rate would also boost wages for childcare workers, who currently earn a median wage of $9.30 per hour and often cannot afford quality care for their own children.
As we all know, the first few years of a child’s life are critical for cognitive and social development. On top of that, having access to reliable child care enables a parent to work or pursue higher education, which can help to lift a whole family out of poverty.
Please add your name to our letter urging members of Congress to co-sponsor and pass this important piece of legislation.