By Christine James-Brown, CWLA President and CEO
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) is pleased to support the recently released Murray-Kaine Revised Child Care and Preschool Reconciliation Proposal and strongly advocates for its inclusion in the forthcoming reconciliation package.
Child care and early childhood education are critical to the future well-being of all children and to building a stronger foundation for all families. Congress created the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) in 1990 and reauthorized it in 2014. Congress stepped in to help the child care industry survive the pandemic. Even before the COVID-19 crisis, states had begun to reduce some waiting lists, make improvement in service quality, and expand eligibility, but that is just a start; more is needed in funding and results. As we emerge from this crisis, it is now time to fully fund this important child and family support service.
The Murray-Kaine proposal would triple the funding in CCDBG and would increase the number of families in every state who can afford child care, improve the quality and availability of child care, invest in the workforce, and establish a pilot program that would cap child care expenses for eligible middle-income families. The core of the proposal — increased funding that goes to every state — would increase the number of children receiving child care assistance by more than 1 million children, according to estimates by the Center for Law and Social Policy.
Congress must not pass a reconciliation package that doesn’t address the economic needs of children and families. Too many families are unable to access child care, either because it’s too expensive or there aren’t enough quality providers where they live. Too many child care and early education professionals earn poverty-level wages and struggle to make ends meet. This reality is untenable, and Congress must use this important opportunity to expand the child care and early learning infrastructure and invest in our future.
Visit the CWLA Action Center to email your Senators now to urge them to support the inclusion of this proposal in the reconciliation package.