Murray: “It’s about time that Congress takes notice of this issue that is straining so many family budgets across our country.”
Thursday, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Ranking Member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee joined advocates, parents and workers across the country on a “Call to Action” on the need for affordable, accessible, and high-quality child care in America.
On a call hosted by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), Murray highlighted the Senate Resolution, which she introduced with 22 Senate cosponsors, that outlines principles for helping families who struggle to afford child care, expanding the availability of quality care, supporting an increasingly professional child care workforce with appropriate compensation, and working in partnership and consultation with states and localities to meet these goals.
“Child care is not a luxury, it’s essential. But right now, we as a country don’t do enough to make sure parents have access to affordable, high-quality child care,” Murray said. “It’s about time that Congress takes notice of this issue that is straining so many family budgets across our country.”
On the rallying call to introduce the resolution, Murray was joined by a child care worker, LiAnne Flakes, and a parent, Cheryl DeFlavis, who has two young children.
“I am passionate about my work teaching and caring for eight children between 10 months and three years old,”said Flakes, a Tampa child care worker active in the national Fight for $15 campaign. “But I’m paid so little that going to the grocery store is a luxury and I have to live with roommates because I can’t afford to live on my own. Years from now, what will matter is the difference I made in the lives of these children, but we need a living wage and union rights so we can get there.”
“The challenge of not being able to afford child care has crippled my life both personally and professionally,”said DeFlavis, a working mom and adjunct professor. “I’m grateful that Senator Murray is taking a leadership role to solve this problem that so many families like mine struggle with on a daily basis.”
Senate cosponsors of the resolution: Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR).
Read the resolution Senator Murray introduced in the Senate here.