Reed spearheads bipartisan bill to support nation’s childcare programs

U.S. Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) on Monday sponsored a bipartisan bill that would authorize grant funding to support the reopening and operation of America’s childcare programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This bipartisan legislation will support children’s early educational development and help our economy get back on track,” Rep. Reed said on July 27.

The congressman introduced the Back to Work Child Care Grants Act of 2020, H.R. 7804, to provide nine months of financial assistance for childcare providers and to allocate funds more quickly by minimizing administrative red tape, according to a bill summary provided by the congressman’s office.

Among the 10 members who signed on as original cosponsors of H.R. 7804 are U.S. Reps. Steve Stivers (R-OH), Jackie Walorski (R-IN), Elise Stefanik (R-NY), and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ).

“We care about our nation’s children because they are the future of this great country,” said Rep. Reed. “As this health and economic crisis continues to disrupt daily life, childcare providers have been acutely hurt by the pandemic. It is only fair we act to ensure providers have the resources they need so working parents can continue to access the local childcare services their families deserve.”

If enacted, H.R. 7804 also would provide safe environments for children by requiring all providers receiving assistance under this program to follow all state and local health and safety guidelines. In addition, it would require states to ensure a diverse field of childcare setting options for parents, including center-based, family childcare and faith-based options, according to the bill summary.

The proposal is endorsed by the First Five Years Fund, the Bipartisan Policy Center Action, and the Chautauqua Lake Child Care Center in Mayville, N.Y.

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) on July 20 introduced the same-named S. 4221 in her chamber with nine original cosponsors. The proposal was included in the U.S. Senate’s HEALS package earlier this week.