This week, the National Women’s Law Center joined 16 child care and early learning organizations, moms, and children to urge members of Congress to support the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA) so that our youngest children can grow up strong! Together with MomsRising, National Association for the Education of Young Children, Center for Community Change Action, SEIU, Children’s Defense Fund, Center for American Progress, Jumpstart, Child Care Aware of America, Family Enrichment Network, Inc., People for the American Way, National Association for Family Child Care, ZERO TO THREE, Pennsylvania Child Care Association, PennAEYC, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, and the Child Care Law Center, we delivered more than 43,000 petitions to all 100 Senators and 24 Representatives urging them to co-sponsor and support this bill, which would expand access to high-quality child care for all children. Over 300 state advocates with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) joined the group visiting their members to discuss child care and early learning.
This landmark piece of legislation, introduced by Senator Patty Murray D-WA), Senator Bob Casey D-PA), and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA), would address the shortage of affordable, high-quality child care options by ensuring that no family earning less than 150 percent of the State Median Income would pay more than 7% of their income on child care. This bill would also significantly improve compensation and professional development for the child care workforce ensuring that caregivers receive the support they need. Recognizing the need for high-quality child care during non-traditional hours, the bill would assist parents in selecting the child care provider that works best for their family’s needs, whether that be a center, family child care home, friend relative, or neighbor. Additionally, the CCWFA would support more inclusive, high-quality child care providers and centers for children with disabilities and help Head Start programs offer a full-school-day, full-school-year of services. The CCWFA also includes $8 billion a year for 10 years to enable states to support access to high-quality preschool programs for all low- and middle-income three- and four-year-olds.
When mothers receive help affording child care, they are more likely to get and keep a job, which enables them to support their families and gain increased financial security. Working mothers should not have to negotiate between being successful at their job and ensuring that their children are in safe and stable high-quality environments while they work. Instead, they should receive the support to do both.
We look forward to more members of Congress joining the 118 Representatives and 31 Senators in co-sponsoring the Child Care for Working Families Act so that working families get the child care they need and our littlest learners can grow up strong!