June 5, 2020 3:30 a.m.
Oregon’s Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley joined Senator Patty Murray of Washington State on Thursday, to introduce a bill that would address “the child care crisis worsened by coronavirus” in Oregon and across the country, by creating a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund.
A release said the legislation, called the Child Care is Essential Act would provide grant funding to child care providers to stabilize the child care sector and support providers to safely reopen and operate.
Wyden said “child care workers in Oregon and nationwide are on the frontlines of this health and economic crisis, supporting families as parents return to work while trying to keep kids safe and healthy”. He said that child care providers were undervalued well before the pandemic hit, and now they’re feeling the pinch more than ever. He said, “Congress is duty-bound to step in and invest in these essential businesses”.
Merkley said child care services, and the workers who deliver them, “are absolutely essential to countless families across Oregon”. He said if child care providers are forced to shut their doors, countless working parent’s ability to go to work will be imperiled and “the impact on children will be profound”.
The Child Care is Essential Act is endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, Children’s Defense Fund, the National Organization for Women and over 80 other organizations.