CONGRESSMAN JOE MORELLE CALLS FOR UNIVERSAL CHILDCARE FOR WORKING FAMILIES
(Washington, D.C.) – Following a report this week from The Children’s Agenda outlining the extent of this childcare crisis in Monroe County, Rep. Joe Morelle announced his sponsorship of the Childcare for Working Families Act and recommitted to fighting for universal childcare for all families.
“Childcare is a critical part of providing comprehensive early childhood services—and right now, we need to do so much more to support our families,” continued Rep Morelle. “That’s why I’m co-sponsoring the Childcare for Working Families Act to expand the federal child care subsidy system and ensure it is affordable for everyone. No family should have to choose between putting food on their table and securing safe, reliable care for their children.”
“We simply can’t afford to keep ignoring the lack of affordable, quality and accessible child care,” said Larry Marx, CEO of The Children’s Agenda. “Our report demonstrates that the current system doesn’t work for thousands of families in Rochester and Monroe County. Quality child care rivals mortgage payments as the top family expense, and chronic under-funding of our system is a direct threat to working families’ economic security. We applaud Congressman Joe Morelle for his leadership in co-sponsoring the Childcare for Working Families Act.”
Monroe County has continuously struggled to provide adequate early childhood services, including deficiencies in early intervention, childcare availability, and more. A report released this week by The Children’s Agenda showed just how alarming our childcare shortage has become, with only three childcare slots for every 10 children. In the last five years, there has been a 22% decline in the number of licensed childcare providers in Rochester and an 18% decline in the suburbs—leading to children left on waiting lists and parents struggling for solutions.
Rep. Morelle has long been a proponent of universal childcare, and announced today his co-sponsorship of H.R. 1364, the Childcare for Working Families Act. This legislation would significantly improve compensation and training for the childcare workforce in order to increase the number of qualified providers and get children off of waitlists and into high-quality care. Furthermore, the legislation would guarantee childcare assistance to low and middle-class families by ensuring that no family under 150 percent of state median income pays more than seven percent of their income on childcare – and families under 75 percent of the state median income will not have to pay anything at all.
Read more about the legislation here.