O’Halleran Votes to Secure Overdue Relief for Child Care Providers, Arizona Kids

July 29, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON– Today, Congressman Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01) voted to pass the Child Care is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act: two bills to increase affordability and accessibility of child care for struggling families, and ensure that providers have the resources and guidance they need to continue serving families during the coronavirus pandemic.

“Throughout my time in public service, I’ve been an advocate for early childhood education,” said O’Halleran. “In the Arizona State Legislature, I fought for all-day kindergarten, and as Chair of the Arizona Senate Higher Education Committee, I secured increased funding for teachers and supplies. Since coming to Congress in 2017, I have advocated for full funding for programs like Head Start and Early Head Start. Studies show that quality, early childhood education helps our kids succeed.

“Today, I was proud to vote to pass urgently-needed legislation to support child care providers, families, and our economy during this challenging time. As we work to address COVID-19 we must prioritize the health, safety, and education of our kids and grandkids, and we must do everything we can to support the providers who work tirelessly to set them up for success.”

The Child Care is Essential Act

  • creates a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund within the existing Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program, to provide grant funding to child care providers so they are able to reopen and stay open safely;
  • requires providers to continue to employ and pay their employees at pre-COVID-19 levels;
  • requires all providers receiving grants to provide families with relief from copayments and tuition;
  • and requires providers to meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), state, and local health and safety guidance.

The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act

  • invests $10 billion in infrastructure to improve child care safety;
  • provides $850 million to support family care for essential workers;
  • enhances and improves tax benefits for families and working caregivers;
  • includes a new refundable payroll tax credit for child care providers;
  • and expands the employee retention tax credit (ERTC) to incentivize employers to keep child care workers on payroll.

O’Halleran is a member of the Congressional Pre-K Caucus, a bipartisan group of legislators working to promote high quality early childhood education access.