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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 Sen. 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 

Sen. Murray: “This is not only the right to thing to for working families, but it’s a smart investment in our children, our future, and our economy.”

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the top Democrat on the Senate education committee, introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, a comprehensive early learning and child care bill to ensure affordable, high-quality child care for working families across the country. The bill builds on Sen. Murray’s work to expand access to child care for families who need it and strengthen economic security for working families in Washington state and across the country.

“At a time when far too many working families are struggling, finding quality child care that doesn’t break the bank shouldn’t be another thing keeping parents up at night,” said Senator Murray. “As a former preschool teacher, I know what quality early learning and care can do for a child’s development, so I’m proud to introduce the Child Care for Working Families Act to address our child care crisis and support access to high-quality preschool so that all children are ready for kindergarten and beyond. This is not only the right to thing to for working families, but it’s a smart investment in our children, our future, and our economy.”

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.

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.

Over 100 Organizations have endorsed the Child Care for Working Families Act: Organizations Supporting the Child Care for Working Families Act  AASA: The School Superintendents Association, 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, MomsRising, 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, National Women’s Law Center, 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.