The American child care industry had already been stretched thin before the pandemic hit, and once the highly infectious virus prompted widespread closures and work-from-home policies, the need for action became even clearer, Congresswoman Katherine Clark said Wednesday as House Democrats unveiled federal legislation.

Two bills Clark proposed alongside Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Bobby Scott and Nita Lowey would inject $50 billion into the child care sector, which Clark described as “essential” to our entire economy, and launch a $10 billion grant program to lower the costs of child care for many families.

Citing a Northeastern University study, Clark said on the House floor that parents have lost an average of one full workday of productivity per week during the pandemic due to lack of child care.

“The solution is not complicated,” she said. “The problem we face is solvable. The two bills before us are a critical first step. Our nation needs to seize this opportunity to provide equity and education, parity for women, and stability in our economy.”

(Copyright (c) 2022 State House News Service.

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