Senator Murray on President Biden’s Proposed Investments to Tackle the Child Care Crisis: “Huge for Families”
ICYMI: Senator Murray Statement on the President’s Budget Request – MORE HERE
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement on President Biden’s plan to tackle the child care crisis in his fiscal year 2024 budget request.
“You simply can’t talk about strengthening our economy without talking about fixing the child care crisis—parents need affordable child care to go to work. And I am so glad the President’s budget recognizes this simple truth.
“Right now, families can’t find—much less afford—the child care they need to be able to go to work, child care workers are forced to leave their profession for better paying jobs elsewhere, and we simply don’t have enough child care providers. This crisis isn’t just hurting families—it’s holding our economy back, to the tune of more than $100 billion every single year.
“The President’s budget tackles the child care crisis head on with critical investments that would make a huge difference in families’ lives—and strengthen our economy. As Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I will be doing everything in my power to ensure child care is front and center as we write our spending bills.”
Senator Murray—a former preschool teacher herself—is leading the fight in Congress to build a child care system that works for working families. She has been creative—and persistent—in her fight to ensure working parents can find and afford child care, and she recently rallied her colleagues and leading advocates to make clear that child care has to remain on the agenda this Congress.
Last year, Senator Murray secured a 30% increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the main source of federal child care support—a $1.8 billion increase in funding that will help serve hundreds of thousands more kids nationwide.
Senator Murray and her Democratic colleagues in Congress also worked with President Biden in 2021, after COVID forced the child care sector to the brink of collapse, to provide $39 billion in the American Rescue Plan for child care programs across the country to weather the crisis, keep their employees—the majority of whom are women and workers of color—on payroll, and continue serving families during a tough stretch. The funding—which represents the largest-ever one-time investment in child care in history—saved the child care sector from collapse during the pandemic—helping over 200,000 child care providers keep their doors open and serve as many as 9.5 million children nationwide. In Washington state, the funding has reached providers in 97% of counties, supporting 6,120 child care programs across the state that serve 169,000 kids.
Senator Murray continues to fight for the bold change families are counting on to solve the child care crisis. She has introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA) every Congress since 2017. In 2021, the legislation became the basis for President Biden’s child care plan and a top priority for the Biden administration. Senator Murray’s landmark child care legislation would ensure working families pay no more than 7% of their income—with the typical family paying less than $10 a day on child care and many families paying nothing at all. Murray’s legislation, which she plans to reintroduce soon, would also boost the supply of child care in America and ensure child care workers are paid a living wage.
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