Child care is too expensive and far too difficult to find for most families, while providers make far too little. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal source for child care assistance and was designed to provide access to child care for families with low incomes. However, a historic lack of investment in the program means it only reaches a small portion of eligible families, serving only 1 in 7 eligible children nationally. The pandemic has made painfully clear what has always been true: a lack of access and resources for families and low wages for providers cannot create a viable and sustainable system that equitably meets the needs of families. The need for action is urgent, and the opportunity to act is now.
To address the ongoing child care crisis and begin to build a robustly funded system that truly works for families and providers, Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tim Kaine (D-VA) released a new child care and early education proposal for inclusion in the federal budget reconciliation package. Nationally, an estimated 1 million+ children could benefit from the proposal. The new framework—which includes $72 billion in additional CCDBG funds—will provide direct support to children and families and build up the supply of child care, including investments in the child care workforce. It will also invest in preschool, Head Start, and establish a pilot program for states that would further expand access and affordability to reach families with higher incomes and cap families’ child care expenses.
These fact sheets explain the status of families and providers in all 50 states across the country—including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico—and highlight the positive impact the Murray-Kaine proposal’s CCDBG investment could have on children and families. Each state’s fact sheet includes analyses that estimate how much new CCDBG funding states could see in one year and the additional children that could gain access to the program through the new federal funds. Across all 50 states and D.C. and Puerto Rico, this could mean a 70 percent increase in child care access through those CCDBG investments alone.