Senator Reverend Warnock,Colleagues Introduce Bill to  Provide Vital Child Care Funding and Save Millions of Families’ Child Care Spots in Wake of Funding Cliff Expiration 

In 2021, Senator Reverend Warnock championed the American Rescue Plan, which saved the child care sector from collapse during the pandemic with vital stabilization funding— helping 220,000 providers stay afloat and serve as many as 10 million kids

With COVID era support having expired on September 30th, the child care sector is being pushed to the brink, with potentially dire consequences for families and our economy

The Child Care Stabilization Act would extend vital stabilization funding to prevent financial crisis for families and our economy by ensuring child care providers can continue serving families across the country

Introducing the Child Care Stabilization Act builds on Senator Reverend Warnock’s tireless work to lower costs for families and ensure every family has access to affordable, high quality child care

Senator Reverend Warnock: “Keeping our nation’s child care providers open is essential to keeping child care costs low and ensuring our children receive the care they need in order to grow”

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) announced his introduction of the Child Care Stabilization Act to extend vital federal child care stabilization funding—which expired on September 30th —and ensure child care providers can continue serving children and families in every part of the country. The Senator introduced the legislation with Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

When the pandemic pushed the already-fragile child care sector to the brink of collapse, Senator Warnock championed the American Rescue Plan which delivered historic federal investments to save the sector from collapse and prevent families from losing their child care spots—including $24 billion in child care stabilization funding. The funding has made an enormous difference for families across the country—keeping 220,000 child care providers afloat over the last few years and saving child care slots for up to 10 million kids nationwide—but the COVID era funding ran out on September 30, 2023, threatening to once again push the sector to the brink, with dire consequences for families and our nation’s economy.

“Keeping our nation’s child care providers open is essential to keeping child care costs low and ensuring our children receive the care they need in order to grow,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “This is just the latest in my efforts to champion the needs of working families and doing all I can to ensure our children are best positioned to succeed. Proud to be a part of the coalition working to pass the Child Care Stabilization ActLet’s get this done.”

Introducing the Child Care Stabilization Act builds on Senator Warnock’s tireless work to lower costs for families and ensure every family has access to affordable, high quality child care. Earlier this week, Senator Warnock unveiled his bipartisan HEADWAY Act, which would address staffing shortages in the child care workforce by allowing Early Head Start classroom teachers to teach and earn their Child Development Associate (CDA) credential simultaneously. 

The Child Care Stabilization Act would prevent this crisis from spiraling by providing $16 billion in mandatory funding each year for the next five years to continue the successful Child Care Stabilization Grant program. This investment would ensure child care providers continue to receive a stable and reliable source of funding to help them deliver high-quality and affordable child care for working families across the country.

Unless action is taken to boost funding for the child care sector, families, providers, and our entire economy will feel the consequences—with fewer families able to find and afford the child care they need to go to work and thrive. A report released by Senators Sanders and Murray in May details how, when stabilization funding expires at the end of the month, child care programs may have to serve fewer children or be forced to raise tuition for families or cut wages for child care workers, who are already struggling to earn a livable-wage.

A separate analysis from The Century Foundation finds that if Congress does not provide additional funding for the nation’s child care sector, more than 70,000 child care programs—one-third of those supported by stabilization funding—could close, causing approximately 3.2 million children to lose their child care spots and jeopardizing jobs for 232,000 child care workers. The loss in tax and business revenue could cost states $10.6 billion in economic activity per year. Additionally, millions of parents will likely leave the workforce or reduce their hours, which could cost families an estimated $9 billion each year in lost earnings. 

In addition to Senator Warnock, Senator Murray, Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and Senator Sanders, Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, The Child Care Stabilization Act is led by House Democratic Whip Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT-03), Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA-03), Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and Representatives Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01), Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ-11), Sara Jacobs (D-CA-51), Jimmy Gomez (D-CA-34), and Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. (D-NY-16). The legislation is co-sponsored by an additional 34 Senators and 78 House members. 

A one-pager on the Child Care Stabilization Act is available HERE.

Legislative text is available HERE.