Rosen, Ernst Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Invest in Small Businesses to Make Child Care More Accessible for Working Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) announced the introduction of the Small Business Child Care Investment Act, S.2549, bipartisan legislation that would make non-profit child care providers eligible to participate in all loan programs available through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Currently, these non-profits are only eligible to access SBA microloans. By increasing access to additional resources through the SBA, this legislation will support these providers in expanding the availability of high-quality child care for working families.

“The lack of affordable, quality child care is forcing too many hardworking families to choose between spending a significant portion of their income on child care, or leaving the workforce,” said Senator Rosen. “Half of U.S. families have reported difficulty finding access to affordable child care. This bipartisan bill would help Nevada families by investing in small businesses so that they can help increase the number of available child care slots, giving parents access to more options for the child care services they need.”

“Over the past five years, Iowa has lost more than forty percent of our regulated child care providers, making it difficult for working parents, especially in our rural communities, to find quality and affordable care for their children. We’ve got to find solutions to our state’s child care crisis,” said Senator Joni Ernst. “My bipartisan bill uses existing programs through the Small Business Administration to help child care providers better serve their communities across Iowa, and to give our working parents greater access to quality and affordable care for their children.”

“Across the country, child care providers are struggling to find the financial resources to improve or maintain the quality of their programs, resulting in an undersupply of high-quality child care for working families,” said Ami Gadhia, Chief of Policy, Research, & Programs at Child Care Aware® of America. “Making SBA funds available to child care providers will help these hard working, under-compensated and unrecognized providers do what they do best: provide high-quality care to America’s children. Child Care Aware of America applauds Senators Rosen and Ernst for introducing the Small Business Child Care Investment Act and finding a new way to support nonprofit child care providers in maintaining high-quality child care.”

“Non-profit child care providers offer a critical service to families across the country, but many often face barriers that prevent them from establishing or expanding care that has proven to have a positive impact on a young child’s development and future success in and out of the classroom,” said Sarah Rittling, Executive Director of First Five Years Fund (FFYF). “It is important, now more than ever, that we find innovative solutions that ensure these programs are available to all families. We are pleased to see Senator Rosen and Senator Ernst working together on a bipartisan proposal that would expand access to affordable, quality child care across the country by allowing non-profit providers to access the same financial resources available to for-profit providers.”

BACKGROUND:  Under the bill, covered non-profit child care providers would be eligible for the same SBA loan programs as for-profit small businesses. The bipartisan Small Business Child Care Act would enable these non-profits to apply for all SBA loans, allowing these providers to expand their services.