LAS VEGAS, NV – Today, U.S. Senator Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Congresswoman Susie Lee (D-NV) hosted an in-person roundtable at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) pre-school with Nevada child and family advocates to discuss their bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act, and how this legislation will improve access to quality, affordable childcare for Nevada’s hardworking families as we recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19.
“Child care is an issue that has not received the support or attention that it deserves, given its importance to our economy, to our workforce, and to our nation’s families,” said Senator Rosen. “As mothers and as legislators, we are committed to helping Nevada and our nation recover from the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic. That’s why we were proud to talk about our bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act today with Nevada child and family advocates, and to hear how we can best help them and child care professionals in our state. Together, we will continue working expand access to affordable, high-quality child care to more working families.”
“Access to affordable, quality childcare is essential for families, yet, Nevada ranks 49th when it comes to access,” said Congresswoman Susie Lee. “As we attempt to get people back to work, now more than ever, it is important that we do all we can to make sure working families have access to childcare. I was proud to join child and family advocates today to discuss our bipartisan bill, the Small Business Child Care Investment Act today. It is clear that there is much work to be done to expand access to child care, but I’m confident our bill will go a long way in getting families the high quality, affordable child care they need.”
BACKGROUND: Last month, Senator Rosen and Congresswoman Susie Lee led the introduction of the bipartisan and bicameral Small Business Child Care Investment Act (S.1587).
Around half of families in the United States live in “child care deserts,” with few options for licensed child care. This is an even greater problem for rural areas, low-income, and minority communities.
According to a 2018 report from the Center for American Progress, half of all families lived in “child care deserts” - areas without sufficiently available child care.
According to a 2020 report from the Economic Policy Institute, child care is one of the biggest expenses families face, and it is unaffordable for the average family in Nevada.
- In Nevada, infant care costs $5,488 (92.7%) more per year than in-state tuition for four-year public college.
- That makes Nevada one of 33 states and the District of Columbia where infant care is more expensive than college.
Currently, non-profit child care providers cannot access the same types of SBA loans as for-profit providers:
- Non-profit providers can only apply for the SBA’s microloan program, which is capped at $50,000 and cannot be used to purchase real estate or for existing debts.
- For-profit providers can access the larger and more flexible loan programs that range up to $5 million and can be used for real estate, construction, remodeling, and other expenses critical to maintaining and expanding high-quality child care operations.
The bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act would:
- Ensure that qualified non-profit providers have equal access to SBA loans that allow providers to invest in and expand their operations, which creates local jobs and gives working families more options for affordable and quality child care;
- Ensure non-profit providers can access the larger and more flexible loan programs that can be used for real estate, construction, remodeling, and other expenses critical to maintaining and expanding high-quality child care operations.
The bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act is endorsed by Save the Children Action Network, First Five Years Fund, the Bipartisan Policy Center, Child Care Aware of America, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Military Family Association, First Focus Campaign for Children, National Head Start Association, the Guinn Center for Policy Priorities of Nevada, Children’s Advocacy Alliance of Nevada, United Way of Southern Nevada, and the Reno + Sparks Chamber of Commerce.