On May 31, 2023, child care policy advocates and early childhood educators testified before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee on the topic of child care access and affordability in the United States. Several issues were discussed, including expanding child care access, the impact of child care access on the economy, training and education requirements for educators, parental choice, and affordability challenges. The ECE educators and advocates also addressed the importance of federal funding, and described how money made available through the American Rescue Plan helped to stabilize the child care sector and provide affordable child care during the pandemic.
The hearing followed a the release of a dramatic report from Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), chairman of the committee, and Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington), a senior member and former chair of the committee, which found that if Congress fails to act before September 30, 2023, when American Rescue Plan funding is set to expire, child care across the U.S. could become even more expensive and more difficult to find.
The hearing was televised and recorded. Watch the recording here.