Lawmakers pressure administration to expand child care services


WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — Some of us can’t stay home; health care workers, first responders, grocery store workers and delivery drivers are some, to name a few.

“These Americans have families and they have children,” Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey said.

Lawmakers like Casey want the Trump Administration to expand options for child care, to help these essential workers.

“There’s no way that you’ll be able to do that job well if you’re worried that your children are not being cared for,” Casey said.

Twenty-two senators have signed a letter asking the Office of Child Care to take immediate steps to expand child care options for essential workers.

“This pandemic, which makes everybody more nervous and anxious, not only about their own health but about the health of their kids, when you compound it, it raises the need,” Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine said.

Kaine says the recent coronavirus relief package included $3.5 billion for a child care development block grant.

“The very workers who we rely on the most are probably the group of people who have the most to be concerned about right now. If we can reduce that concern a little bit by providing resources for child care, then we should do that,” Kaine said.

Senators asked the department what options would be possible, such as using closed head start facilities to offer temporary child care, but they say a decision needs to be made soon.

“We also have to think very creatively not just in regards to the dollars appropriated but also the policy,” Casey said.

The Office of Child Care had no immediate response. The senators want details from the office by April 6.

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