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Kaine Joins Murray and Sanders in Introducing Bill to Extend Vital Child Care Funding

**WATCH: Kaine, Murray, Sanders, colleagues reintroduce Child Care Stabilization Act**

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, joined U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in introducing the Child Care Stabilization Act to extend vital federal child care stabilization funding—which is set to expire at the end of this month—and ensure that child care providers can keep their doors open and continue serving children and families in every part of the country. Without additional funding for child care, in Virginia, 88,265 kids would lose their child care, at least 2,861 child care workers would lose their jobs, parents would lose $280 million in earnings after being forced to cut work hours or leave the workforce, and 1,383 child care programs would close.

“The lack of affordable child care in America is holding our families, workers, and economy back,” said Senator Kaine. “Parents are locked out of the workforce because they can’t find care for their kids. Workers who are passionate about child care are being squeezed out of their field because they can’t pay their bills. If we let critical child care stabilization funding expire, things are only going to get worse. Millions of families who will otherwise lose their child care are depending on Congress passing this legislation to extend these urgently-needed funds.”

When the pandemic pushed the already-fragile child care sector to the brink of collapse, Democrats in Congress responded by delivering historic federal investments to save the sector from collapse and prevent families from losing their child care spots—including $24 billion in child care stabilization funding. The funding has made an enormous difference for families across the country, keeping 220,000 child care providers afloat over the last few years and saving child care slots for up to 10 million kids nationwide. But the funding is set to run out on September 30, 2023, threatening to once again push the sector to the brink, with dire consequences for families and our nation’s economy.

Last month, Kaine called on President Biden to support $16 billion in federal funding each year to prevent a national wave of child care closures. The Child Care Stabilization Act would provide this funding each year for the next five years to continue the successful Child Care Stabilization Grant program and prevent a potential crisis when funding expires at the end of this month. This investment would ensure child care providers continue to receive a stable and reliable source of funding to help them deliver high-quality and affordable child care for working families across the country.

Joining Senators Kaine, Murray, and Sanders in introducing the bill are Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Dick Durbin (D-IL), John Fetterman (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-NM), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Revered Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA-5) and Representatives Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-3), Bobby Scott (D-VA-3), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), Sara Jacobs (D-CA-51), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34), and Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (D-NY-16).

Full text of the bill is available here. A one-pager on the bill is available here.