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Southwest Washington has been labeled a “child care desert” for its lack of quality, affordable child care facilities and providers. I believe Congress can and should take action to confront this problem. That’s why I’m working on solutions that will help working families save money on their child care bills and more easily find quality child care services.
· AVAILABILITY: As many families struggle to find access to available child care, states are continuing to experience a noticeable decline in the number of child care providers, leading to the expansion of “child care deserts.” So, I joined with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, and both chambers of Congress, to write a bill to address the shortage. The Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act will focus on rural communities by providing competitive grants to states to support the education, training or retention of child care workers and build, renovate or expand child care facilities in areas with child care shortages.
· AFFORDABILITY: Additionally, we must make child care more affordable for working families. I joined with my Democrat colleague Rep. Katie Porter, a single mom from California, to write the Family Savings for Kids and Seniors Act which would more than double the amount of money families can set aside pre-tax in Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to help pay for preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs and child care.
· PAID FAMILY LEAVE: And most recently, I joined with colleagues in a bipartisan manner to introduce a bill to help provide financial relief to new parents. Our bill, the Advancing Support for Working Families Act, gives new parents the option of receiving up to $5,000 following the birth or adoption of a child through the Child Tax Credit (CTC). This money can help cover a parent’s leave from work or infant care costs. In exchange for this benefit, families would take a $500 reduction from their future annual CTC over the following 10 years.