March 26, 2019

Duckworth, Durbin Help Re-Introduce Bill Expanding Access to Affordable, Quality Child Care


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) joined Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and 32 of their colleagues in re-introducing legislation to help ensure low- and middle-income families have access to affordable and high-quality child care. The Child Care for Working Families Act would ensure that no family under 150 percent of the state median income pays more than seven percent of their income on child care, invest in training and compensation for child care workers and expand access to high-quality preschool for low- and middle-income 3 and 4 year olds.

"For most working parents, affordable child care isn't a luxury - it's a necessity," said Duckworth. "No parent should have to choose between sending their kids to daycare during the day and putting food on the table at night. That's why this legislation is so important - it helps ensure that hardworking Americans have access to the child care they need to raise strong and healthy families."

“For countless Illinoisans who work every day to support their families, having access to affordable, reliable, and quality child care that is continuous from birth through age five is absolutely critical,” Durbin said. “This bill would provide increased funding for child care programs, invest in early childhood educators, and ensure no family has to choose between access to work and a vital investment in their child’s future.”

“No matter where I go, I hear from parents who share their stories about how the lack of affordable, high-quality child care is holding them back from focusing on their jobs, or taking promotions, and some are even being forced to quit their jobs altogether,” Murray said. “Thankfully, these parents organized, advocated, and because they refused to give up, our nation’s child care crisis has finally been brought to the forefront of our national conversation, and Republicans and Democrats in Congress have made historic increases in child care investments. Our work is not done, and that’s why I’m fighting to pass the Child Care for Working Families Act, so every family has access to high-quality child care that doesn’t break the bank. This isn’t just good for parents and children, it’s a smart investment in our economy and our future.”

Duckworth and Durbin have both prioritized helping Illinois families manage the increasing costs associated with raising a child. They recently co-sponsored legislation to cut taxes for families with children and establish a comprehensive paid family and medical leave program that will provide 12 weeks of paid leave for workers who need time to care for a newborn or adopted child, a seriously ill family member, or their own serious health condition.

Duckworth and Murray led their colleagues in requesting and successfully securing a 233% increase in funding for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) program, which provides affordable child care support to college students with children, in the FY 2018 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Her CCAMPIS Reauthorization Act would reauthorize and fully fund this program that exclusively support on-campus child care services. Duckworth has also introduced legislation to improve access to child care services for Veterans participating in workforce and job training programs.

In addition to Duckworth, Durbin and Murray, the legislation is co-sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Bob Casey (D-PA), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez-Masto (D-NM), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Udall (D-NM), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).