Congresswoman Barbara Lee Statement on House Passage of Two Critical Child Care Bills

WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today applauded the House passage of two critical child care bills: H.R. 7027, the Child Care is Essential Act, and H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act.

The bills will provide relief for child care providers to stay open and cover their increased operating costs with limited revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic. This legislation will expand the availability of quality child care, help workers return to their jobs when it is safe, and enable the economy to recover from the COVID-19 recession.

 “As a single mother raising two little boys, I relied on public assistance and food stamps as a bridge over troubled water. As parents are being asked to not only be child care providers, financial providers, and ad hoc school teachers, we must step in and offer relief” said Congresswoman Lee. “I understand the importance of accessible child care and the strain families experience, especially during this pandemic. These critical bills are urgently needed to address the exacerbated shortage of affordable, quality child care.”  

The coronavirus pandemic has caused temporary and permanent closures of child care providers, worsening the shortage of quality, affordable child care for families. The child care system needs at least $50 billion in the next six months in order to survive the economic crisis our country is facing.   

Recognizing the urgent need to support childcare, House Democrats advanced two bills Wednesday to provide child care relief for families and support the safe reopening of the U.S. economy:  

  • H.R. 7027, the Child Care Is Essential Act, provides funding to child care providers to stabilize and support providers to safely reopen and operate. This bill creates a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund within the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program to help child care providers cover a wide range of costs to reopen and stay open. 
  • H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, provides ongoing federal funds and tax subsidies for families, helping to increase accessibility to quality child care and to provide tax credits for child care providers affected by COVID-19. This legislation will grant $10 billion in infrastructure to improve child care safety, provides $850 million to support family care for essential workers, and increases funding for federal child care programs.