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Chavez-DeRemer, colleagues introduce bill to address child care workforce shortage


WASHINGTON (KTVZ) – Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR-05) joined Reps. Annie Kuster (NH-02), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), and Mike Lawler (NY-17) to introduce bipartisan legislation Wednesday that aims to address the child care workforce shortage.

The proposal would expand career and technical education (CTE) program investments and incentivize more students to enter the field of early childhood education.

“In a recent survey of Oregon parents, 40 percent responded that they had to change career plans because they couldn’t find child care. Part of the problem is a shortage of providers, which also drives up costs,” Chavez-DeRemer said. “By expanding access to early childhood education programs, this bipartisan legislation will help establish more child care services in our communities. I’ll continue working to ensure families can find high-quality, affordable care for their children.”

“We are facing a full-blown child care crisis here in New Hampshire and all across our country. Working parents need access to affordable, quality child care to return to the workforce and fully participate in our economy,” Kuster said. “We must do more to strengthen our child care workforce and invest in the next generation of providers. I was proud to introduce the Early Childhood Workforce Advancement Act to recruit more child care providers and support the industry.”

“Our country has a serious lack of affordable, accessible child care. To close the gap we must prepare more people to become skilled child care workers,” Bonamici said. “The Early Childhood Workforce Advancement Act will expand and strengthen career and technical education (CTE) programs for early childhood education, helping more students gain the experience and knowledge they need to become effective early childhood educators. As Co-Chair of the bipartisan CTE Caucus and the Pre-K and Child Care Caucus, I’m glad to lead this important legislation with my colleagues Reps. Kuster, Lawler, and Chavez-DeRemer.”

“A solid foundation in early childhood education is essential to equip students for later success. That’s why the nationwide shortage of early childhood educators is so concerning,” Lawler said. “To that end, I’m proud to join Reps. Kuster, Chavez-DeRemer, and Bonamici in introducing the bipartisan Early Childhood Workforce Advancement Act, which will confront this shortage head-on.”

Specifically, the Early Childhood Workforce Advancement Act would:

  • Award grants to eligible partnerships such as institutions of higher education, child care providers, or relevant workforce training programs; and
  • Establish, expand, and support CTE and career pathway programs of study in early childhood education.

This bipartisan legislation is endorsed by the Association of Career and Technical Education, AdvanceCTE, First Five Years Fund, ZERO TO THREE, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Save the Children, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Partnership for Women & Families, Early Care & Education Consortium (ECEC), First Focus Campaign for Children, Child Care Aware, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), National Education Association (NEA), NEA-NH, Children’s Defense Fund, and Midwest Urban Strategies.

Full text of the bill is available HERE.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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