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February 21, 2023

King addresses the shortage of affordable child care

U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is co-sponsoring legislation to address the shortage of affordable child care.

The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act would provide grants for states to train child care workers and build or renovate child care facilities. 

The proposed legislation was created because families nationwide have been struggling to access both the cost and the availability of child care, with rural communities increasingly becoming “child care deserts” because of a decline in providers.

If approved as written the Act would:

  • Provide competitive grants to states to support the education, training, or retention of the child care workforce
  • Provide competitive grants to states to build, renovate and expand child care facilities in areas experiencing shortages 
  • Require grant applicants to demonstrate how their projects would increase the availability and affordability of quality child care, and help child care workers continue to advance their careers
  • Enhance retention and compensation of quality child care professionals
Official portrait Angus King
Courtesy / Office of U.S. Sen. Angus King
U.S. Sen. Angus King

“Affordable childcare is one of the most pressing needs for working parents, children, and small businesses looking for workers, and yet, too many families struggle to find childcare in their own communities,” said King, I-Maine. “The bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act will create a much-needed federal grant program to invest in local child care centers and addresses the serious shortage.

"This isn’t just a social issue, it’s an economic one too," King continued. "When families can access child care, small businesses thrive with workers from the local community, parents are able to pursue their careers, and our children are provided with the attention and care they need to thrive.”

King has recently worked to authorize the planning and development of a new child care center at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in Kittery. Last month, he visited the University of Maine at Farmington’s Child Care and Education Center to see how the school is using $2 million in federal funding to renovate and expand the facility and operations. The child care center received $1 million from the American Rescue Plan and $1 million in Congressionally-Directed Spending secured by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and supported by King. 

The legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dan Sullivan (R-Ark.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Kyrsten Sinema (I-Ariz.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)

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