Kaine Introduces $50 Billion Child Care Stabilization Fund Legislation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine joined Senator Patty Murray to introduce the Child Care is Essential Act, legislation to create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund within the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. As businesses begin to re-open and working families need child care, many providers across the country remain shut down or are operating with significantly reduced capacity. Child care providers that are able to stay open are struggling to cover their increased operating costs with limited revenue, and many are at risk of permanent closure. If the Child Care is Essential Act is passed into law, Virginia would receive approximately $986 million of these funds.
“The coronavirus pandemic has placed child care providers under immense financial strain,” Kaine said. “Congress must make significant investments to support child care providers as they continue to provide care for working families, including frontline workers.”
The new Child Care Stabilization Fund would provide grant funding to help child care providers safely reopen and operate and stabilize the child care sector. These grants would help child care providers and working families by:
- Ensuring that the grants adequately support providers’ operating expenses and funding gets to them quickly;
- Requiring that providers continue to pay their staff;
- Providing tuition and copayment relief for working families;
- Promoting health and safety through compliance with public health guidance;
- Prioritizing providers that serve underserved populations;
- Ensuring grants are awarded equitably across child care settings; and
- Conducting oversight through robust reporting requirements.
Senator Kaine has been very focused on expanding access to child care amid the coronavirus outbreak. He successfully worked to include in the CARES Act his proposal with Senator Todd Young (R-IN) to increase funding, flexibility, and eligibility for the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to help ensure health care providers and other essential workers have access to child care during the pandemic. Senator Kaine also joined his colleagues in a letter calling on Senate leadership to include $50 billion for child care in a future COVID-19 relief package in order to help keep child care available to frontline workers and keep providers in business. In April, Kaine also held a telephone town hall with Virginia parents to discuss child care and other issues impacting families during this crisis.
A one-page summary of the Child Care is Essential Act can be found here.