CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Biden Administration has announced a sweeping set of executive actions to improve childcare.
The order includes more than 50 directives to Cabinet-level agencies to take steps toward fixing the nation’s child care and long-term care system. President Biden believes that as a country we must secure significant new federal investments to transform care.
The White House Administration believes that too many families and individuals struggle to access the affordable, high-quality care they need for their children. The cost of child care is up 26 percent in the last decade, and more than 200 percent over the past 30 years.
The result is many Americans, particularly women, stay out of the workforce to care for their families, making it hard for businesses to attract and retain a skilled workforce and for the economy to grow.
This push will act as a workforce incentive to help families rejoin the workforce and provide their kids with adequate care. 22News spoke with one local childcare facility in Springfield about the significance of this essential funding.
“We also know that many employers can’t operate their business unless they have folks ready willing and able to come to work. And that means a safe and healthy place for your child to go. So it’s exciting for square one to think about our future and what we can do to partner those opportunities addressing the critical age of learning for children,” said Dawn DiStefano, the President & CEO of Square One in Springfield.
Ultimately, the goal is to make child care and long-term care more accessible and affordable for families. One of the ways they intend to do this is by lowering costs for families benefitting from the Child Care & Development Block Grant program, and by directing the Department of Health and Human Services to consider actions to reduce or eliminate families’ co-payments for child care.
The White House plans to direct the Department of Defense to take steps to improve the affordability of child care on military bases. Additionally, all federal agencies will review opportunities to expand employee access to childcare services through federal childcare centers, childcare subsidies, or contracted care for providers.