Child Care Challenges Gaining Attention at the Federal and State Levels
Last week, Congress held two hearings highlighting the need to address the urgent child care challenges facing working families. The House Committee on Education and Labor Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education heard from practitioners, researchers and parents about the lack of accessible, affordable, high-quality childcare and the impact of child care on the country’s economy. Members discussed strategies to improve access to child care and how more must be done to pay providers fairly and support their professional development. Preschool Development Grants were highlighted as “one of the most important investments Congress has made recently in early childhood.” Colorado was recently announced as one of the states receiving the Preschool Development grants over the next three years. To view the full hearing, click
In a separate examination of the impact of childcare on businesses, the House Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship discussed the importance of accessible child care to local economies and examined the small business child care industry. Nationwide, rural and low-income communities are hit hardest by the lack of access to child care, creating a huge challenge for local economies. To view the full hearing, click here.
Also last week, Rep. Pete Stauber (R-MN) and Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV) introduced the Small Business Childcare Investment Act, which would grant non-profit child care providers access to the same types of Small Business Administration loans available to for-profit providers.
Federal attention to the challenges facing children, families, and the economy as a result of limited availability of affordable quality child care crisis will hopefully create momentum to increase investments in early care and education. Stay tuned for additional updates and opportunities to take action in Colorado. You can also hear an episode of our podcast, The West Steps, on this issue here.