Statement from NAEYC CEO Michelle Kang on the Inflation Reduction Act
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Statement from Michelle Kang, CEO, National Association for the Education of Young Children, on the text of the Inflation Reduction Act:
“After early versions of the Build Back Better Act included desperately needed relief for child care as a centerpiece, it is a complete shame that the Senate’s Inflation Reduction Act does not include inflation-fighting funding for child care.
In my conversations with early childhood educators, families, and business leaders, there is unanimous frustration that Congress continues to push child care to the side, threatening small businesses, keeping parents out of the workforce and putting children’s development at risk.
Economists have shown how investments in child care fight inflation, increase employment–particularly for women–and provide children with quality care.
It is imperative that any final reconciliation package include the child care investments necessary to support our nation’s working families and, in turn, our economy. The scale of the child care problem isn’t one that families, providers, or businesses can solve on their own; federal investments are necessary. Leaving child care out of reconciliation means leaving families, children, and businesses behind, as they see a looming $48 billion cliff when COVID-related stabilization funds run out.
NAEYC surveys have found that 75% of child care providers say that the end of stabilization grants will be devastating to their programs, and one-third of educators have said that they are planning to leave or close their program this year. If these educators walk away because they didn’t receive the sustained investments and support they needed from policymakers, more programs are going to close, more families will be unable to find care, and the impact on our economy and on families in all states and communities will be catastrophic.
The Senate must pass a reconciliation package that includes inflation-fighting funding for affordable, quality child care and early learning, to lower costs for families, and raise wages for providers. Millions of women, families, and educators are watching–and waiting–for Congress to act and #SolveChildCare before it’s too late.”