U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) have published an opinion piece together on the need to help America’s working families with access to affordable, quality child care. The senators have recently introduced the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act — bipartisan legislation that aims to “bring the cost of child care down and provide more child care centers in areas that need them the most.”
“While the two of us may have principled differences in Congress, we agree that access to quality, affordable child care is a problem that affects far too many families. If we are dedicated to securing a better future for the next generation, we have to come together to do better.”
Recently, the Center for American Progress released a new report profiling the supply of licensed child care services in every state and the District of Columbia, and their findings paint a troubling picture for working families. According to the report, 51 percent of people in the United States live in a child care desert — any census tract with more than 50 children under age 5 that contains either no child care providers or so few options that there are more than three times as many children as licensed child care slots.
Lack of access to affordable, quality child care is one of the biggest concerns that we hear from our constituents back home in Minnesota and Alaska. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK)
Klobuchar and Sullivan’s Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would offer competitive grants to states to support the education, training, or retention of the child care workforce. These grants could also be used by states to help build, renovate, or expand child care facilities in areas with child care shortages.
Support for greater investments in high-quality child care is overwhelmingly bipartisan among lawmakers and voters alike. During the 115th Congress, bipartisan lawmakers, under Republican leadership in both chambers of Congress and in partnership with a Republican administration, made historic gains for children from birth through age five, achieving much of what was proposed in FFYF’s 2016 Policy Framework. And according to FFYF’s latest national poll, a majority of voters from every political persuasion support a variety of proposals that will help more families access high-quality early learning and care opportunities.
Read the full op-ed from Senators Klobuchar and Sullivan online here.