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Guthrie Child Care Bill Passes House

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives today passed Congressman Brett Guthrie’s (KY-02) Ensuring Children and Child Care Workers are Safe Act (H.R.7909) by a vote of 387 to 33.

Guthrie introduced the bill with Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-IA-01) to equip child care providers with the information and resources needed to safely operate through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Without child care options parents can’t return to work, which is a key component of our nation’s economic recovery,” said Guthrie on the House floor. “Additionally, child care benefits a child’s health and development which are critical to building a strong foundation for future success.  In my home state, Kentucky, thanks to the CARES Act, many of our child care centers have been fortunate to reopen; however, one-third of the state’s 2,200 licensed or certified child care centers still have not. The Ensuring Children and Child Care Workers are Safe Act will ensure that child care providers receive guidance and assistance to safely operate, so that parents can return to work, and our economy can continue to recover.”

Under this bill, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would provide states with educational material 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 child care providers. The bill would also require HHS to provide recommendations on how to ensure the safe and adequate supply of child care during COVID-19.