WASHINGTON—AFT President Randi Weingarten on the introduction of the Child Care for Working Families Act by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.):
“Expanding child care and preschool would be a game changer for children and families in our country. The Child Care for Working Families Act would tear down the barriers facing too many parents who can’t afford, or can’t find, high-quality child care and preschool programs for their children, from birth to kindergarten. And it would ensure kids are ready for school by providing them with the opportunity to play and socialize with others, get access to books and be read to, have experience with letters and numbers, and develop a love of learning. This bill also makes investments in the early childhood workforce to increase wages for educators and ensure they have the supports and professional development they need.
“States and cities across the country, like my hometown of New York City, already have successful, effective preschool programs. And we’ve seen countless examples of how having publicly funded early learning helps kids transition into kindergarten and succeed in school. I hear constantly from parents about the need for additional child care and preschool programs, but right now child care costs exceed the average cost of in-state public college tuition in 33 states and Washington, D.C. It’s well past time to make it a national priority to expand early learning programs for all children and families, and Sen. Murray and Rep. Scott have the right approach.”