May 18, 2021

Duckworth Joins Rosen and Ernst in Introducing Bipartisan, Bicameral Legislation to Expand Child Care Availability


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senators Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) in introducing the Small Business Child Care Investment Act. This bipartisan and bicameral legislation would make non-profit child care providers that are small businesses eligible to participate in all loan programs available through the Small Business Administration (SBA) – the same opportunity currently provided to for-profit providers – to help increase the availability affordable, high-quality child care for working families. Along with Duckworth, Rosen and Ernst, this legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL). Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Representatives Susie Lee (D-NV-03), Pete Stauber (R-MN-08) and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13).

“Child care isn’t a ‘nice to have’—it’s a must have for working families,” Duckworth said. “I’m proud to join this bipartisan effort to ensure child care providers have access to the same resources as other small businesses to keep operations going and recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19. I’ll keep working to make sure child care centers in Illinois and across the country have what they need to get to the other side of this pandemic.”

“Child care is a critical service for many working families with young children, and it is vital to getting our economy open again,” said Davis. “That’s why I’m proud to join Senator Duckworth and others in introducing this bipartisan legislation so non-profit child care providers are on a level playing field as other small businesses. Many working families will only be able to return to normal and resume their careers if they are able to access child care, and this legislation is just one way we can work towards achieving that.”

According to a 2018 report from the Center for American Progress, half of all families lived in “child care deserts” – areas without sufficiently available child care. The Small Business Child Care Investment Act would:

  • Ensure that qualified non-profit providers have equal access to SBA loans that allow providers to invest in and expand their operations, which creates local jobs and gives working families more options for affordable and quality child care; and
  • Ensure non-profit providers can access the larger and more flexible loan programs that can be used for real estate, construction, remodeling, and other expenses critical to maintaining and expanding high-quality child care operations.

The bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act is endorsed by Save the Children Action Network, First Five Years Fund, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Child Care Aware of America, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Military Family Association, First Focus Campaign for Children, National Head Start Association.