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

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act to address the national shortage of affordable, quality child care, especially in rural communities. While many families struggle to find access to available child care, states are continuing to experience a noticeable decline in the number of child care providers, leading to the expansion of “child care deserts.” In the House of Representatives, a companion bill was introduced by Representatives Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA).

“Affordable, quality child care must be available to every family. Child care shortages across the country pose a moral and financial issue for communities when parents are forced to decide between working and staying at home with their children,” Klobuchar said. “Our bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act will help ensure that every family has good options available to them when planning for their careers and their children.”

“Access to quality, affordable child care is key to a thriving economy,” Sullivan said. “I hear repeatedly from working Alaska parents that the lack of affordable childcare is among their top concerns, and those concerns are overwhelmingly confirmed by the data. Unfortunately, this problem disproportionately impacts mothers striving to re-enter the workforce. This legislation, which I have introduced with Senator Klobuchar, will help by offering grants focused on states hardest hit like ours to enhance workforce development among child care professionals, and improve facilities that serve families in child care deserts, particularly in our rural communities.”

“The lack of access to affordable, quality child care in rural America hurts not only families but also employers. Our rural communities face many challenges and this bipartisan bill takes steps to ensure that these communities have the same access to child care as the folks living in urban areas,” Peterson said.

“As the demand for child care continues to increase across Southwest Washington, the number of quality care providers has dwindled, setting up a crisis for working families who are struggling to find and afford care for their kids. I’m pleased we’re taking a step in Congress with this bipartisan legislation to support working parents by helping increase availability and affordability of child care,” Herrera Beutler said.

The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would:

  • Help to address the shortage of affordable child care and qualified child care professionals in Minnesota, particularly Greater Minnesota;
  • Provide competitive grants to states to support (1) the education, training, or retention of the child care workforce or (2) building, renovating, or expanding child care facilities in areas with child care shortages; and
  • Require applicants to address how their projects would:
    • Increase the availability and affordability of quality child care, including during nontraditional hours.
    • Help workers obtain portable, stackable credentials to foster increased mobility and opportunities for advancement in child care careers.
    • Enhance retention or compensation of quality child care professionals.

"With more than half our nation's families living in a child care desert, we are facing a child care supply issue and the demand is too high and too costly to ignore. As a leading champion for young children, SCAN applauds Senators Klobuchar and Sullivan and Representatives Peterson and Herrera Beutler for their leadership on this issue. This legislation will ensure that more parents can enter or remain in the workforce while knowing their children are enrolled in the type of quality child care that lays a strong foundation for their future success,” said Mark Shriver, CEO of Save the Children Action Network (SCAN).