May 14, 2023

Duckworth on Mother’s Day: Cap Child Care Costs to Strengthen Economy & Enable Working Families to Succeed


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), the first person to give birth while serving in the U.S. Senate, joined CNN’s State of the Union this Mother’s Day morning to discuss what working moms need to succeed and what our nation should be doing to help them. During her interview, the Senator underscored to host Dana Bash how enacting legislation to help working families across the country better afford child care, which can cost an average person more than half of their entire income in some states, will help more families contribute to our nation’s economy more fully. Video of Senator Duckworth on CNN’s State of the Union today is available here.

“For most working parents, affordable child care isn’t a luxury—it’s a necessity,” said Duckworth. “Capping the cost of child care would help families all across this country who now are spending as much as half of their income on these services that they need so they don’t have to drop out of the workforce. Other countries recognize how important it is to have subsidies that support child care for working families—we're just one that doesn't do it. We need to fix that and help these families.”

Duckworth is a cosponsor of the Child Care for Working Families Act, comprehensive legislation to tackle the child care crisis and help ensure families across America can find and afford the high-quality child care they need. Across the country, too many families cannot find—or afford—the high-quality child care they need so parents can go to work and children can thrive, and the worsening child care crisis is holding families, child care workers, businesses and our entire economy back.

Over the last three decades, the cost of child care has increased by 220%, forcing families—and mothers, in particular—to make impossible choices, and more than half of all families live in child care deserts. Meanwhile, child care workers are struggling to make ends meet on the poverty-level wages they are paid and child care providers are struggling to simply stay afloat. The crisis—which was exacerbated by the pandemic—is costing our economy dearly, to the tune of $122 billion in economic losses each year.

The Child Care for Working Families Act would tackle the child care crisis head-on: ensuring families can afford the child care they need, expanding access to more high-quality options, stabilizing the child care sector and helping ensure child care workers taking care of our nation’s kids are paid livable wages. The legislation will also dramatically expand access to pre-K and support full-day, full-year Head Start programs and increased wages for Head Start workers. Under the legislation, the typical family in America will pay no more than $10 a day for child care—with many families paying nothing at all—and no eligible family will pay more than 7% of their income on child care.