WASHINGTON — The House today passed H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, legislation to expand the availability of quality child care, help workers return to their jobs when it is safe, and enable America’s economy to recover from the COVID-19 recession.
“Coronavirus has exacerbated America’s child care crisis. Millions of working families around the country are struggling to access the quality, affordable child care needed for a return to work and the reopening of the U.S. economy,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey. “The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act improves access to quality child care during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. Through smart, bold federal investments and tax provisions, the legislation will bring much-needed relief to financially struggling child care providers, to families who need child care so they can return to work, and to the U.S. economy, which depends on a fully engaged workforce and quality early childhood education.”
“This legislation makes major investments in safe, affordable child care – a necessary step in getting our economy back on the right track and supporting families during the COVID-19 crisis,” said House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal. “The child care crisis existed long before this pandemic, but now more than ever, families are struggling to find high-quality, affordable, safe child care. From long waiting lists to out-of-reach prices, many parents questioning whether they can continue to balance careers while doing what’s best for their children. Investing in our child care system will not just help give parents the peace of mind they need to return to work when it’s safe, but it will help unleash the full power of the American economy in the near- and long-term. I hope Senate Republicans can grasp the urgency with which we need to address the child care crisis and will quickly pass this legislation to relieve the fear and stress parents are experiencing.”
“Prior to the pandemic, federal funding only provided child care for one in six eligible children,” said Worker and Family Support Subcommittee Chairman Danny K. Davis. “Parents in communities weighed down by poverty and systemic racism experienced a shortage of high-quality, affordable child care. Today, we face a global pandemic that has disproportionately infected and killed people in these same struggling communities, and the child care crisis we had before is now much, much worse. Now is the time for this Congress to take meaningful action to ensure that high-quality child care is available to all who need it.”
“Child care is a key component of our country’s economic infrastructure but, for too long, we’ve failed to treat it that way. Now, the coronavirus has brought this vital sector of our economy to its breaking point,” said Congresswoman Katherine Clark, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus. “By expanding access to care and easing the financial burdens placed on parents and employers, we can reopen and recover from this public health crisis without leaving kids, parents, and businesses behind. Now, the Senate must act quickly to pass this legislation.”
“There can be no return to normal for our families if children cannot return to child care. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the importance of high quality, affordable child care for millions of working families across our country and has pushed our already struggling child care system to the brink of disaster,” said Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). “If families don’t feel confident that their kids are going to be in a safe and secure learning environment, we’re not going to get our economy back on track. The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act sets our nation on a path to improve child care during this crisis and beyond.”
“Working families across the country were scraping by with child care expenses before their lives got turned upside down by a deadly pandemic,” said Congresswoman Linda T. Sánchez. “Now, we are asking workers – many disproportionately impacted by the virus – to return to the job site without any solution for how their kids will be cared for going forward. We desperately need safe, widespread, affordable child care, and this legislation rises to meet that challenge. Congress must act quickly to make a serious investment in child care, which is critical to our economic recovery.”
The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act provides ongoing federal investments and tax subsidies to help bring quality child care within the reach of families to support ongoing employment. The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act:
- Makes significant, ongoing federal investments in child care to support children and working families, with $10 billion for infrastructure to improve child care safety, $850 million to support family care for essential workers, and increased funding for federal child care programs.
- Provides improved and fairer tax benefits for families and working caregivers, enhancing the child and dependent care tax credit (CDCTC), expanding the dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSA), and creating a new tax credit to help employees access quality, affordable child care.
- Supports struggling child care providers, with a new refundable payroll tax credit for child care providers.
- Incentivizes employers to keep child care workers on payroll, by expanding the employee retention tax credit (ERTC).
The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act is complemented by H.R. 7027, the Child Care is Essential Act, which passed the House earlier today.
A fact sheet on the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act is here.
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