Family Values @Work Action Applauds Vice President Kamala Harris' Plan to Lower Child Care Costs

March 1, 2024 — Family Values @Work Action, the leading network promoting policies that support working families, commends Vice President Kamala Harris for her recent statements outlining the Health and Human Services (HHS) final rule which aims to alleviate the burden of child care costs on American families while simultaneously uplifting the child care workforce.

The recent announcement by Vice President Harris addresses the pressing need for families to have affordable, high-quality child care. This final rule includes new Childcare Community Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding that will directly benefit over 100,000 working families, and lays the ground for the eventual passage of universal child care in every state.

Thousands of families and providers will benefit from the following improvement to how CCDBG funding is administered:

Lowering the Cost of High-Quality Child Care: Families across the country struggle with the exorbitant costs of child care, often forcing parents to make difficult choices between work and caregiving responsibilities. The HHS plan aims to cap copays that families have to pay for subsidized child care at 7 percent of their income, resulting in an estimated savings of $200 per month for countless families.

Expanding Access for Low-Income Families: The rule includes provisions to make child care available at no cost by eliminating the copay entirely for many families, ensuring that financial, health, and other social conditions don’t hinder children’s access to essential early childhood education and care.

Encouraging States to Streamline Processes: Parents should not have to struggle through ineffective enrollment systems and red tape just to gain access to an eligible child care program. The final order will improve access by also encouraging states to streamline the enrollment process and improve payment standards for providers. These improvements will impact an estimated 140,000 providers and increase access to the families they serve.

Universal Preschool for 4-Year-Olds: Recognizing the critical importance of early childhood education, Vice President Harris’ proposal includes provisions to provide free preschool for all 4-year-olds, setting a strong foundation for their future academic success.

Affordable Child Care for All: The Biden-Harris Administration has sought to improve access to affordable childcare care in a number of ways: The American Rescue Plan (ARP) included childcare stabilization funding during the pandemic and established monthly disbursements of the Child Tax Credit to support working families. They called on Congress to include $16B for the stabilization of childcare programs when the ARP funding expired and; they’ve championed legislation that aims to cap child care costs at just $10 per day for the average family in recognition that childcare costs can rival college tuition in many states.

Across our network, Family Values @Work Action stands firmly behind Vice President Harris’ commitment to transform the landscape of child care in America. By prioritizing the needs of working families and investing in the well-being of children, we move closer to creating a society where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

As an organization dedicated to advancing policies that support working families, we urge swift implementation of this final rule and for Congress to act on the proposals before them that ensures affordable, high-quality child care for all.

For media inquiries or further information, please contact:

Elliott Maddox
Communications Director