News Releases

Moms, kids, early childhood educators, advocates, and child care center directors delivered petitions signed by more than 40K advocates in support of Senator Murray’s Child Care for Working Families Act

The Child Care for Working Families Act will ensure parents aren’t forced to pay more than they can afford for child care while improving access to high-quality preschool for low- and middle-income children

Long championed by Senator Murray, a former preschool teacher, this legislation is a part of Democrats’ agenda to build an economy that works for all, not just those at the top

Senator Murray: “I’m going to keep fighting until every family has access to high-quality affordable child care”

A child delivers petitions to Senator Murray (center) signed by tens of thousands of child care and early learning advocates in support of the Child Care for Working Families Act that Senator Murray introduced last year.

(Washington, D.C.)  – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), top Democrat on the Senate education committee, underlined her commitment to helping working families access affordable, high-quality care at a meeting with moms, kids, early childhood educators, advocates and child care center directors from organizations including the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), MomsRising, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). During the meeting, the group presented Senator Murray with a petition signed by more than 40,000 members from every state, including Washington state, in support of her Child Care for Working Families Act introduced last year. In addition to highlighting support for the legislation, the participants also thanked Senator Murray for her efforts to secure a commitment to provide $5.8 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant in the bipartisan budget deal, and urged her to continue working to ensure this commitment becomes a reality and to strengthen investments in the nation’s child care infrastructure and training child care workers.

“As a former preschool teacher, I know early childhood education is critical to preparing our youngest learners for kindergarten and beyond,” said Senator Murray. “I was proud to introduce the Child Care for Working Families Act last year and I want to thank the many parents, teachers, and advocates who are making their voices heard and urging my colleagues to address our nation’s child care crisis quickly. Too many working families are struggling to afford child care, and I’m going to keep fighting until every family has access to high-quality affordable child care.”

The Child Care for Working Families Act would create a federal-state partnership to ensure families making less than 150 percent of their state’s median income do not pay more than seven percent of their income on child care. The bill also supports access to high-quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 3- and 4-year olds, and strengthens support for our nation’s child care workforce by significantly improving wages and training for teachers and caregivers. Additionally, the bill would:

  • Establish a new federal-state partnership based on Medicaid to provide high-quality, affordable child care from birth through age 13;
  • More than double the universe of children eligible for child care assistance, and increase the number of children who could receive such assistance by more than 13 times the current amount;  
  • Provide incentives and funding for states to create high-quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 3- and 4-year olds during the school day, while providing a higher matching rate for programs for infants and toddlers, who are often harder and more expensive to care for;
  • Increase workforce training and compensation, including by ensuring that all child care workers are paid a living wage and early childhood educators are provided parity with elementary school teachers with similar credentials and experience;
  • Improve care in a variety of settings, including addressing the needs of family, friend, and neighbor care and care during non-traditional hours to help meet the needs of working families;
  • Build more inclusive, high-quality child care providers for children with disabilities, and infants and toddlers with disabilities, including by increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act; and
  • Help all Head Start programs meet the new expanded duration requirements and provide full-day, full-year programming.

Advocates from NWLC, MomsRising, and NAEYC delivered petitions to Senator Murray supporting her Child Care for Working Families Act, signed by 45,000 advocates from Washington state and every state across the nation.

Text of the Child Care for Working Families Act can be found HERE.

Fact sheet on the Child Care for Working Families Act can be found HERE.

In addition to NWLC, MomsRising, and NAEYC, over 100 organizations have endorsed the Child Care for Working Families Act, including: The School Superintendents Association (AASA), American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, American Federation of Teachers, ASCD, Association of University Centers on Disabilities, Center for American Progress, Caring Across Generations, Center for Community Change Action, Center for Frontline Retail, Child Care Aware® of America, Child Care Law Center, Child Welfare League of America, Children's Defense Fund, Children’s Leadership Council (CLC), CLASP, Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), Committee for Children, Common Sense Media, Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Education Task Force, Council for Exceptional Children, Council of Administrators of Special Education, Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Democrats for Education Reform, Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (DEC), Easterseals, Economic Opportunity Institute, Every Child Matters, Family Focused Treatment Association, Family Values at Work, First Five Years Fund, First Focus Campaign for Children, IDEA Infant Toddler Coordinators Association, International Literacy Association, Learning Disabilities Association of America, Make it Work Campaign, National Association of Elementary School Principals, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Association of School Psychologists, National Association of Secondary School Principals, National Association for Family Child Care, National Association of State Boards of Education, National Association of State Directors of Special Education, National Black Child Development Institute, National Center for Families Learning, National Council of Jewish Women, National Council of Teachers of English, National Disability Rights Network, National Education Association, National Indian Head Start Directors Association, National Organization for Women, National PTA, National Writing Project, National Council on Learning Disabilities, Parents as Teachers, People's Action, RESULTS: The Power to End Poverty, Save the Children, Schoolhouse Connection, Social Work Association of America, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Teach Plus, The Arc of the United States, The Education Trust, ZERO TO THREE, California Association for the Education of Young Children, Child Care Aware of Washington, Children’s Alliance (WA), Children's Home Society of Washington, First 5 Association of California, First 5 California, First 5 LA, League of Education Voters (WA), Maine Association for the Education of Young Children, Maryland Working Families, Minnesota Association for the Education of Young Children, Missouri Association for the Education of Young Children, New York State Association for the Education of Young Children, Northern Virginia Association for the Education of Young Children, Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children, OneAmerica (WA), Orange County Association for the Education of Young Children, Puerto Rico Association for the Education of Young Children, Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children, Schools Out Washington, Strategies for Children (MA), The YMCA of Greater Seattle (WA), Utah Association for the Education of Young Children, Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP, Wellspring Family Services (WA), and the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association.