President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 relief bill includes additional $40 billion in child care relief
Murray: “Families and child care providers need relief yesterday—so I’m glad that President-elect Biden’s plan meets the moment to address the child care crisis we’re facing.”
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the additional $40 billion in child care relief included in President-elect Biden’s COVID-19 package. This funding builds on the $10 billion that Congress recently passed—which would ensure the child care sector has the $50 billion that Senator Murray called for in her Child Care is Essential Act in order to ensure providers can stay afloat and working families can afford child care. For decades, Senator Murray has championed expanding access to child care and has been a leading voice in pushing for child care relief during the pandemic.
“As a working mom, I relied on child care—and as a former pre-school teacher, I experienced firsthand just how underfunded and undervalued it is in this country. Which is why I’ve been fighting ever since I got to the Senate to address the rising costs and limited options of quality, affordable child care—and to make sure that early childhood educators, who are almost entirely women and of whom, almost half are women of color, are paid a livable wage.
“We have long had a child care crisis that has driven parents, mostly moms, out of the workforce—and accessing child care has always been even more difficult for women of color, who work more and earn less than anyone else in this country. But this pandemic has made our child care crisis drastically worse. Child care providers across the country are having to close their doors and lay-off thousands of workers—and we’re seeing more parents leave their jobs and lose their paycheck because they can’t find or afford care for their children.
“We simply cannot recover from this crisis if essential workers can’t stay on the job and families can’t get back to work. But if we don’t provide significantly more funding to support our child care sector, the alarmingly high number of women—and in particular women of color—forced out of the workforce will only get higher.
“Families and child care providers need relief yesterday—so I’m glad that President-elect Biden’s plan meets the moment to address the child care crisis we’re facing. These funds will help make sure our child care providers can stay afloat and workers can afford tuition during this pandemic.”
A former preschool teacher, Senator Murray has long been a champion of child care and was instrumental in securing $3.5 billion for child care nationwide in the CARES Act, $10 billion in the COVID relief package passed in December, and $5.91 billion in the FY21 spending bill.
Throughout the pandemic, Senator Murray has stressed the importance of child care in order to help working families get back to work and help build back a more fair economy. In June, she introduced the Child Care is Essential Act, to address the child care crisis exacerbated by coronavirus.
In 2019, she also introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, a comprehensive child care and early learning bill to expand access to quality, affordable child care for working families. The bill is part of President-elect Biden’s platform.