Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) reintroduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA) on April 27th. Introduced every Congress since 2017, the legislation would address the ongoing crisis in child care by making it affordable for families and addressing the child care shortages that have, in many cases, made it impossible for families to even find an open slot. CCWFA would ensure that working families pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care, early childhood educators earn livable wages, and families have more child care options in their communities.
The bill was introduced with significant democratic support: Representative Wild (D-PA) joined Representative Scott in leading reintroduction of the legislation alongside 43 cosponsors in the House. Senators Tim Kaine (D-VA), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) joined Senator Murray in leading reintroduction of the legislation alongside 33 additional cosponsors in the Senate.
CCWFA would create three key programs:
- The Birth Through Five Child Care and Early Learning Program, a Federal-State Partnership, to ensure all working families have access to high-quality, affordable child care;
- The Building an Affordable System for Early Education (BASE) Grants to ensure every State receives funding to support child care providers, increase worker pay, and improve access for families; and
- The Universal Preschool Program to expand access to high-quality preschool programs.
CCWFA also provides funding for Head Start agencies to provide full school year and full school day services, and ensure Head Start and Early Head Start teachers and staff receive wages that are comparable to wages for elementary educators with similar credentials and experience in the State or, at a minimum, receive a living wage.
“We’ve got to tackle this crisis head-on… Our bill will transform child care in America—ensuring families in every part of our country can find and afford the child care they need to go to work and child care workers are paid the higher wages they deserve,” said Senator Murray in the press release.