In a Senate Banking committee hearing last week, Senator Warnock stressed the importance of child care as a key driver of Georgia’s economic growth and recovery
Senator Warnock also highlighted the vital importance of affordable, high-quality child care to early childhood development, impact of child care on wage-earning potential for working families
26 percent of women who became unemployed during the pandemic attribute their inability to return to the workforce to lack of child care
As of December 2020, 1 in 4 child care providers in Georgia remained closed
Senator Reverend Warnock: “I hail from the state of Georgia where average families pay 60% of their income to cover the costs of childcare for two children. I have two children, two small preschool children. So I can think about the impact that must have on families¬ – 60% of their income to cover the costs of two children”
WATCH FULL REMARKS HERE
Washington, D.C. – Last week, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), a key member of the Senate Banking committee, highlighted the fundamental need to secure strong federal investments to support child care providers as a means to strengthen the educational outcomes of Georgia’s children and help Georgia parents recover from the economic pains of the COVID-19 pandemic. During a Banking committee hearing entitled “The Role of Child Care in an Equitable Post-Pandemic Economy”, Senator Warnock emphasized the challenges child care providers faced prior to the pandemic from parents being saddled with unaffordable prices to child care workers not being competitively compensated, especially in communities of color and communities with low incomes. During the hearing, Senator Warnock stressed the benefits of subsidizing child care to support high-quality childhood development in Georgia, providing Georgia’s children the tools and opportunity to thrive at an early age.
“Even before the coronavirus pandemic, the child care industry faced many challenges. Child care was unaffordable for many families at the same time child care workers were underpaid,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “In 2020, childcare work ranked among the bottom 2% by salary before the pandemic, with educators with all of their training, making just over $12 an hour. In Georgia, workers in unsubsidized centers earned an average of $10.14 an hour.”
“These challenges disproportionately affect women, particularly Black and Brown women who make up the bulk of the child care workforce. During the pandemic child care providers faced record low enrollment, forcing providers to reduce costs by paying even lower wages or laying off the staff,” continued Senator Warnock.
During his questioning of the hearing witnesses, Senator Warnock discussed the importance of paying child care workers a livable wage and its impact on early childhood development, as well as the role the federal government should play in keeping the child care industry strong. Senator Warnock also pressed the witnesses to discuss how the burden of a lack of child care and unaffordable pricing have hampered Georgia parents’ ability to work and thrive in our economy—stressing how investing in child care could improve economic outcomes for working families in Georgia and nationwide.
For full video of Senator Warnock’s exchanges with the witnesses, visit HERE.