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Stivers Joins Reed to Support Assistance for Child Care

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Washington, July 29, 2020 | comments

WASHINGTON – Earlier this week, Representative Steve Stivers (R-OH) joined Representative Tom Reed (D-NY) to cosponsor the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act. This legislation will provide assistance to child care providers to help keep families safe and retain American jobs. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) led the introduction of this legislation in the Senate, and it was included in the recently introduced HEALS Act.  

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, nearly 60 percent of child care centers nationwide closed, as of early June. This legislation will provide short-term assistance to child care centers, operators, and providers to help centers re-open, and stay open. Specifically, this will offer nine-month financial assistance to providers, grants tailored to the needs of each provider, and flexibility for states to design state-specific plans. This will also speed up the disbursement of funds to providers by cutting through administrative red tape.

“Right now, all American workers are facing new, unique challenges – and finding reliable and safe child care is one of the most pressing,” said Stivers. “This bill helps parents get back to work and drive our economy forward. I’m cosponsoring this bill because no one should have to choose between the safety of their children and the security of their job.”

The Back to Work Child Care Grants Act will directly maintain and develop safe environments for children by requiring all providers to receive assistance to follow all state and local health and safety guidelines. Additionally, this will require states to ensure a diverse field of child care setting options for parents, including center-based, family child care, and faith-based options.

Stivers has also worked to support early childhood education through urging support of funding for the Head Start program. Head Start offers programs to provide comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and other services. Head Start has been proven to improve educational outcomes throughout kids’ lives, and increases the chances students will graduate from high school, attend college, and receive a post-secondary degree, license, or certification. Head Start has also been shown to contribute to emotional, social, and behavioral development of children throughout school.

Stivers believes a strong educational foundation starts from the very beginning, which is why he has also supported funding for the Child Care and Developmental Block Grant, which improves access to affordable and early child care and after school programs. Additionally, he worked to support the Preschool Development Grants, which are used to build high-quality preschool programs.

More on this legislation can be found here.

The bill is supported by Executive Director Sarah Rittling, of the First Five Years Fund; Regional Vice President Stephanie Sturdevant-Ward, of KinderCare Education; and Executive Director Michele Stockwell, of the Bipartisan Policy Center Action.

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