WASHINGTON—Statement of American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten on the reintroduction of the Child Care for Working Families Act in Congress today. This comprehensive legislation will address the child care crisis and ensure that working families can find and afford high-quality child care:
“No parent should have to choose among basic necessities like food, rent, healthcare and child care, but too many face that choice daily, and many can’t get back to work because of it. Access to affordable child care was at a crisis point before the pandemic; the extra strain of COVID-19 has revealed just how broken our child care system is—for kids, parents and workers alike. A child’s academic, social and emotional trajectory begins in these younger years, and as a society, we must create systems to support that growth.
“While the American Rescue Plan made the largest investment in child care in our nation’s history, this investment was an emergency measure to get families and early education programs through the toughest parts of the pandemic. The Child Care for Working Families Act responds directly to the child care crisis; the public investments will make child care and pre-K a more affordable reality for families. The bill expands preschool programs so that every kid in this country has a shot at success before setting foot in kindergarten, and it creates a stronger career path with higher compensation for early childhood educators. I thank Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) for their ongoing leadership in recognizing that educating and caring for our kids starts at birth.”