September 14, 2017

Udall Joins Democrats in Introducing Bill to Expand Access to Affordable, High Quality Child Care for New Mexico Families

WASHINGTON — Today, U.S. Senator Tom Udall joined a number of Democrats in introducing major legislation to ensure working families throughout New Mexico and across the country have access to affordable, high-quality child care. The Child Care for Working Families Act is a comprehensive early learning and child care bill to ensure working families can afford high-quality child care and preschool programs.

The Child Care for Working Families Act would create a partnership between the federal and state governments to ensure families making less than 150 percent of their state’s median income do not pay more than 7 percent of their income on child care. In addition, the bill supports access to high quality preschool programs for low- and moderate-income 3- and 4-year-olds. The bill would also support our nation’s child care workforce by significantly improving wages and training for teachers and caregivers.

"Child care programs enable working parents across New Mexico to work or go to school with the assurance that their kids are being taken care of. But for too many families, particularly in rural areas, child care is either too expensive or unavailable – forcing parents who have no other alternatives to choose between holding down a job and inadequate child care. That’s why I support the Child Care for Working Families Act, a bill to make child care more affordable for working families and support universal access to pre-K for low- and moderate-income households," Udall said. "New Mexico’s state ranking on child well-being is unacceptable, and our kids can do better throughout life if they have access to quality child care and pre-kindergarten. I believe that every child in New Mexico deserves the opportunity to learn, grow, and develop the skills they need to succeed, no matter where they live or what their family can afford. The Child Care for Working Families Act will help kids across New Mexico seize their potential while giving New Mexico working parents the opportunity to advance their careers and boost our economy. I will be working hard to advance this legislation and keep doing everything I can to empower working parents, our economy, and our kids—New Mexico’s future leaders."

The Child Care for Working Families Act is a part of the Democrats’ economic agenda to offer working families A Better Deal. Affordable child care is just one of many proposals Democrats put forth to build an economy that works for all, not just those at the top. The bill is led by Senators Patty Murray and Bob Casey, and cosponsors include Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).