WASHINGTON, D.C. – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 7027, the Child Care Is Essential Act, and H.R. 7327, the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act.

“Families and child care providers face unprecedented uncertainty amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Without additional investments in child care, parents across the country will be unable to return to work. Even before this pandemic, many working families struggled to find affordable, high-quality child care in their communities and this public health crisis has widened existing racial, social, and gender-based inequities in accessing child care.

“These critical child care bills would invest in desperately needed resources to scale up child care infrastructure and expand household access to refundable child care tax credits to soften the blow of child care expenses. Together, these two pieces of legislation help parents going back to work while providing struggling child care centers the ability to stay open or reopen safely.

“The Child Care Is Essential Act would enable child care providers to keep their staff on the payroll and cover operating expenses, provide tuition and co-payment relief for working families struggling to afford child care, and promote healthy child care facilities that meet public health standards. 

“The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act would modify and expand child care tax credits for families as well as payroll and employee retention tax credits to stabilize the struggling child care industry. This bill invests specifically independent care for essential workers during COVID-19, recognizing the significant challenges faced by these families in particular.

“Lack of access to high-quality, affordable child care not only hurts families but also hinders the public health response to COVID-19, the ability to reopen our economy safely, and an equitable economic recovery. I will continue to fight for more federal funding and support to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care services in Washington State and across the country to ensure both families and child care center workers are supported during this public health crisis and beyond."

For more information, you can read the Fact Sheets for the Child Care Is Essential Act here and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act here.