Anne Hedgepeth, Child Care Aware® of America’s Chief of Policy and Advocacy, released the following statement in response to Congressional passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023 (H.R. 2617):
Families, educators, businesses, and communities are in agreement – child care is a necessity. When those who need it do not have access we all feel the impact. With the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2023, Congress prioritized increasing child care and early learning funding in a challenging funding environment, and CCAoA is grateful.
We applaud the efforts of Congressional leadership, appropriators, and Members of Congress, who elevated the need for greater support and followed through on their commitments to increase funding for child care. Child Care Aware of America joined national child care and early learning partner organizations in calling for meaningful increases in funding for these programs. In addition, thousands of parents, providers, system leaders, and advocates, made their voices heard about the challenges the underfunded child care system faces currently. Increased funding will help.
CCAoA’s research shows that the child care field has still not recovered from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents continue to face the challenges of finding and affording high-quality child care, while providers struggle to remain in business. Now is the time to act boldly; child care is the work that makes all other work possible. Robust, long-term public support is necessary to make child care affordable for families and ensure more children have access to high-quality early learning experiences.
It is our hope that this year’s funding increase will put the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and other early learning programs on track for continued funding increases in the future to meet the immense needs across the country. We look forward to working with the incoming Congress and the White House to craft policy solutions and advance investments that make a difference in the lives of children, families, providers, and communities.