On Thursday, June 9th, 2022, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) held a press conference with other Members of Congress, families, providers and advocates to discuss the urgent need and widespread support for investing in childcare and early childhood education, and their proposal to invest significant resources in early care and education within the budget reconciliation package.

The event included support from Senator Whitehouse (D-RI), Senator Menendez (D-NJ), Senator Hirono (D-HI), Senator Klobuchar (D-MN), Assistant House Leader Katherine Clark (D-MA), and many others. It also included speakers and support from The Century Foundation, MomsRising, the National Women’s Law Center, the Center for Community Change Action, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, Child Care Aware of America, Zero to Three, and more.

“Our plan will lower child care costs for families all across the country by thousands of dollars a year. It will reach more than a million new children and their families. It will raise wages for child care workers and stabilize the sector—keeping providers’ doors open and making more options available to families. And it will strengthen our entire economy,” said Senator Murray. “We need to get this done through reconciliation, because we cannot leave child care behind. We cannot leave kids or families or moms behind. We cannot continue to short-change our entire economy.”

Parents shared how their families’ lives have been impacted by a lack of affordable, high-quality early care. “It’s been a constant cycle of needing child care to work, and needing to work to afford child care,” said Javona Brownlee, a single mom from Fairfax, VA, who had to drop out of the labor force because she couldn’t afford child care.

“Our goal for our children, families, and economy cannot just be to prevent collapse,” said Fatima Goss Graves, president and CEO of the National Women’s Law Center, “the Murray-Kaine bill takes us forward.” She noted that the Senators’ plan would make it possible for at least 600,000 more mothers to work.

“Children are 20% of our population and 100% of our future,” said Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI), “Caregiving makes all other work possible.”