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US Congressman Mondaire Jones was thanked at the Lois Bronz Childrens Center in Greenburgh for his proposed Universal Child Care and Learning Act and for pushing for a sidewalk on Dobbs Ferry Road
I joined Congressman Mondaire Jones today at the Lois Bronz Childrens Center to support his proposal of the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act, a comprehensive and bicameral bill that will ensure that every family has access to high-quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities by establishing a network of federally-supported, locally administered child care options. I also thanked the Congressman for advocating for a federal grant to build a sidewalk on Dobbs Ferry Road near Knollwood Road. Route 100 B is a heavily trafficked state road that sees about 10,000 daily vehicle trips. About a mile of the road between 100A and Route 119 has no sidewalk. Part of that will be constructed in 2022 by Brightview Senior Living, which is building senior housing at 289 Dobbs Ferry Road. The federal funding, if approved, will help cover the rest. The Congressman is pushing hard for a million dollar grant to the town.
The Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act would have lasting positive effects, not just on children and families, but on the economy at large. A recent study from the National Women's Law Center and the Center on Poverty and Social Policy found that providing affordable, high-quality child care to every family that needs it would increase the number of women with young children working full time by 17%, narrow the pay gap between women and men, and increase women's lifetime earnings by nearly $100,000 on average, with a corresponding increase in their savings and Social Security benefits.
Lack of access to high-quality, affordable child care prevents parents from fully participating in the workforce, holding them back from career and educational opportunities and placing a drag on our entire economy. Lack of affordable, high-quality care also means many children in the U.S. start kindergarten without the skills they need to reach their full potential.
"Today, in more than half the states in America, a year of child care costs more than a year of in-state college tuition," said Representative Jones. "In Westchester County in my district, center-based care for an infant costs $21,000/year -- nearly the entire annual income of a family living at the federal poverty line. Our childcare system is deeply broken, and those who can least afford it are paying the highest price as a result. If we want a country, and an economy, that works for all Americans, we need universal child care. We need the Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act. Our bill would transform child care as we know it in America by making it free of cost for families at or below 200% of the federal poverty line and capping costs at 7% of household income for families making more. As we work to Build Back Better, advancing universal child care is essential to ensuring an equitable and just economic recovery for all communities, which is why I'm proud to introduce this critical legislation."
The legislation would fund a system of locally-run, affordable, and high-quality child care programs inspired by the bipartisan Comprehensive Child Development Bill of 1971, which was vetoed by President Nixon. The lawmakers' proposal builds on the successes of both the federal Head Start program and the U.S. Department of Defense military child care program.
The Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act: