Home Agenda Goes. Sen. Kaine Advocates For Build Back Better Program, Says Universal Child Care Essential To Repair Economy And Workforce | WDVM25 and DCW50

Goes. Sen. Kaine Advocates For Build Back Better Program, Says Universal Child Care Essential To Repair Economy And Workforce | WDVM25 and DCW50

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VIRGINIA (WDVM) – As the country recovers from economic losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine said a critical part of repairing the workforce is expanding early education in the Build Back Better program and the US bailout.

At a press conference, Senator Kaine explained that the Build Back Better program will provide a free universal preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds, allowing parents to return to work. The legislation will also expand access to affordable, high-quality child care by limiting child care costs for families to no more than 7% of their income and for families earning up to 250%. of their median state income.

It also enables states to expand access to affordable child care services to approximately 20 million children. In order to qualify for such childcare under the proposed legislation, parents must be working, looking for work, undergoing training or dealing with a serious health problem. The Biden administration aims for this legislation to be a long-term program and has allocated funding for six years.

Senator Kaine explained that nearly two million people left the workforce during COVID and have not returned since schools and other entities reopened. He says the major problem in cities and rural areas of the state is the lack of affordable, high-quality child care.

“The schools may have been closed. Now they are reopened. Day care centers have been closed, they have reopened. They have often reopened with fewer children because they want to have more social distancing, ”said Senator Kaine. “If you can’t find quality, affordable child care, you may decide not to return to the workforce. “

He also said that the guarantee of quality preschool education coupled with the child tax credit implemented as part of the US bailout will relieve stress for working parents, who will have the opportunity to re-enter the childcare market. job. The Child Tax Credit has automatically given qualifying families a monthly tax credit of $ 250 for each child aged 6 to 17 and $ 300 for each child under age 6 since July. Senator Kaine explained that the child tax credit will cover about 1.6 million children, nearly 975,000 families, in Virginia alone.

“It helps create a happy and productive workforce if you help people keep more of their own money in their pocket,” said Senator Kaine. “With this child tax credit, if you help families pay for child care costs, it tends to counter some people’s concerns about inflation which are very real, but the tax credit for children helps with that. “

Senator Kaine pointed out that in his view, the heart of the Build Back Better program is to ensure that America’s workforce is the best in the world to get the job done, but also to outperform China and other countries in the future.