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Guthrie, Finkenauer Introduce Bipartisan Child Care Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) and Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (D-IA) on Friday introduced the Ensuring Children and Child Care Workers Are Safe Act of 2020 to equip child care providers with information and resources needed to safely operate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As our nation continues to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, we must ensure that child care providers have the necessary resources to reopen or remain open in order to keep children safe while allowing parents to return to work,” said Guthrie. “COVID-19 safety precautions have been a major financial burden to childcare providers, which have already suffered significant financial losses due to closures during the pandemic. I was proud to join Rep. Finkenauer in introducing the Ensuring Children and Child Care Workers Are Safe Act to support states’ efforts to provide critical guidance, educational materials, and technical assistance to childcare providers.”

“The lack of affordable and quality childcare has been a crisis facing our communities for years, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made the situation worse,” said Finkenauer. “This bipartisan, common-sense bill will help make sure providers can safely care for the children of essential workers who do not have the option of working from home, and could make an immediate positive impact in our communities. We must keep working toward solving the childcare crisis in the short and long term. I’m thankful to have the opportunity to work with Congressman Guthrie on the Ensuring Children and Child Care Workers Are Safe Act of 2020.”

Under this bill, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would provide states with educational materials and technical assistance related to:

  • COVID-19 prevention in childcare facilities.
  • Professional development for childcare providers on health and safety.
  • How to acquire and use personal protective equipment.
  • How to modify operations to prevent COVID-19 transmission, including optimal staff-to-child ratios.

In addition to technical assistance, the legislation would also allow HHS to make grants to states so they can then provide outreach, guidance, and technical support to childcare providers. The bill would also require HHS to recommend how to ensure the safe provision and adequate supply of childcare during COVID-19.