The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would provide competitive grants for states to train child care workers and build or renovate child care facilities

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced bipartisan legislation to address the nationwide shortage of affordable child care. The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would provide competitive grants for states to train child care workers and build or renovate child care facilities. Families across the country are struggling to access available child care, with rural communities increasingly becoming “child care deserts” due to the noticeable decline in the number of child care providers. Companion legislation in the House of Representatives is led by Representative Josh Harder (D-CA). 

“For far too many parents, the struggle to find high-quality, affordable child care serves as a barrier preventing them from reentering the workforce,” said Klobuchar. “Our bipartisan legislation will train more child care workers and build and expand facilities in child care deserts, helping families in all parts of the country access the child care they need.” 

“Access to quality, affordable child care is essential to a thriving economy, but the data overwhelmingly shows that access is severely limited in more rural parts of the country, like Alaska,” said Sullivan. “I hear repeatedly from working Alaska parents that this lack of affordable child care is among their top concerns. This challenge also disproportionately impacts mothers striving to re-enter the workforce. The legislation I’ve re-introduced with Senator Klobuchar will offer grants focused on states with the greatest need, enhance workforce development among child care professionals, and improve facilities that serve families in child care deserts.”

The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would:

  • Address the shortage of affordable child care and qualified child care professionals, particularly in rural areas; 
  • Provide competitive grants to states to support the education, training, or retention of the child care workforce;
  • Provide competitive grants to states to build, renovate, and expand child care facilities in areas experiencing shortages; 
  • Require grant applicants to demonstrate how their projects would increase the availability and affordability of quality child care, and help child care workers continue advance their careers; and 
  • Enhance retention and compensation of quality child care professionals.

The legislation is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Angus King (I-ME), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). 

The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act has been endorsed by Save the Children and Children’s Institute.

“While the pandemic and many of its ensuing challenges have subsided, our nation’s child care crisis continues to get worse. Families around the country are struggling, and desperately need access to high-quality and affordable child care. That’s why we’re so pleased that the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act is being reintroduced,” said Roy Chrobocinski, Managing Director of Domestic Federal Policy at Save the Children. “Families have struggled to find affordable care for far too long. We applaud Senators Klobuchar and Sullivan for their continued dedication to America’s families and child care workforce, and their perseverance in seeking solutions to our country’s worsening child care crisis.”

Klobuchar has long worked to increase access to affordable child care in Minnesota. Last year, she secured federal funding to support child care needs in St. Paul, Chisholm and Ely, BrainerdFosston, Luverne, Detroit Lakes, and Little Falls