Senator Murray: “In every room and at every opportunity, child care is at the top of my mind, and I push hard for progress—and that’s exactly what I did in this funding package … But make no mistake: even as I continue pushing for increased child care investments, I’ll never stop working towards the big, bold change we need to finally fix the child care crisis.”
Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), released the following statement on the critical funding increase for child care included in the end-of-year spending package that cleared the Senate.
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) received a $1.8 billion increase over fiscal year 2022 to total over $8 billion. This additional funding will help the program serve 130,000 additional children.
“In every room and at every opportunity, child care is at the top of my mind, and I push hard for progress—and that’s exactly what I did in this funding package by delivering a $1.8 billion increase in child care funding. And these resources aren’t just numbers on a page: this will help serve 130,000 more kids, help child care providers stay open, and make a world of difference for working families struggling to afford child care.
“But make no mistake: even as I continue pushing for increased child care investments, I’ll never stop working towards the big, bold change we need to finally fix the child care crisis.
“Right now, our child care system is broken—when I talk to so many people across the country, the first thing they tell me about is child care. Parents are staying up late at night trying to figure out how on Earth they will find and afford child care, and child care workers are struggling to make ends meet. So I will keep pushing until we finally build a child care system that works for working families and pays every child care worker a living wage. If we want to build a stronger economy for everyone, we need to fix the child care crisis in America, period.”
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.
In 2018, Senator Murray delivered a historic increase in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the main source of federal child care support, and her efforts have more than tripled the program’s funding since 2015. In 2021, after COVID forced the child care sector to the brink of collapse, Senator Murray fought 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 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. This was the largest-ever one time investment in child care in history.
In the 117th Congress, Senator Murray also introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA), which became the basis for President Biden child care plan—and a top priority for the Biden Administration. As part of her to continued fight to pass historic child care reform, she also championed a child care proposal alongside Senator Tim Kaine to triple funding for CCDBG and launch a pilot program based on CCWFA to ensure working parents can find and afford child care, and support child care workers.