Cicilline, Langevin, McKee Pushing for Stronger Federal Investments in Child Care

Jun 11, 2021 Issues: Jobs and the Economy

PROVIDENCE – U.S. Congressmen David N. Cicilline (RI-01) and James Langevin (RI-02) held a press conference this morning with Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee to underscore the importance of federal investments in child care for growing Rhode Island’s economy from the bottom up and the middle out. Cicilline and Langevin are working to pass President Biden’s American Families Plan, which would invest a historic amount in child care and universal pre-k.

“Affordable child care is a critical foundation for a successful economy,” said Congressman Cicilline. “When parents have access to child care, it means they can enter the workforce, earn promotions, and provide a better life for themselves and their families. The American Families Plan will help ensure more Rhode Island parents can go to work knowing that their kids are safe and taken care of during the day. We need to send this bill to President Biden’s desk.”

“If Rhode Island is going to make a full recovery from the pandemic, now is the time to double down on our investments in the care economy,” said Rep. Langevin. “The American Rescue Plan has helped Rhode Island to stem the tide of the pandemic and get our economy back on track. Now, we need to take the next step and pass the American Jobs and Families Plans, so we can get Rhode Islanders back to work safely and grow the economy for all Americans.”

“Restarting Rhode Island’s economy depends on ensuring access to child care,” said Governor McKee. “We must provide affordable, safe child care that parents and caregivers can rely on, so they can focus on their work and support their families. Let’s make this the year we invest in child care, because an investment in child care is an investment in families, jobs, small businesses, and our economy. I thank Congressman Langevin and Congressman Cicilline for their tireless advocacy in fighting for Rhode Island families and pushing the American Families Plan forward – it’s time to get this bill passed.”

Lack of access to affordable child care costs the U.S. economy $57 billion a year in lost wages. The American Rescue Plan, which Congress passed and President Biden signed earlier this year, made a $39 billion down payment on child care, with Rhode Island alone receiving $93 million to help child care providers re-open safely and provide affordable child care for working moms and dads.

Thanks in large part to the success of the American Rescue Plan, the economy has added two million jobs since President Biden took office. Unemployment is below 6 percent for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Yet, more work remains to be done – nearly half of all Rhode Islanders live in communities without access to child care.

President Biden’s American Families Plan will close this gap by investing $225 billion in child care and $220 billion in universal pre-k education. The President’s plan will:

  • Cover the cost of child care for the most hard-pressed Rhode Island families,
  • Ensure households making up to $134,000 a year pay no more than 7 percent of their income for child care,
  • And invest in better pay and benefits for child care workers so that more Rhode Islanders can go to work in this important field.

“Fortunately for the nation, for RI, for childcare providers like Genesis Center, the climate is changing and people are recognizing that childcare and early learning are critical drivers of our workforce," said Genesis Center President & CEO, Shannon Carroll. "Without high quality, consistent care and learning, our families cannot attain and retain high quality, living wage jobs.“