March 16, 2018

Senator Hassan Cosponsors Bill to Help Veterans Access Child Care, Reduce Veteran Unemployment

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) cosponsored legislation this week to support veterans and their families, as well as to reduce veteran unemployment by helping improve access to child care services for veterans participating in workforce and job training programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor (DOL).

The Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act would create a federal program to help ensure that veterans transitioning to civilian life can access affordable child care during their job seeking process, which is especially important for low-income veterans, those on the cusp of homelessness or those already homeless.

“Our veterans have sacrificed bravely in defense of our freedoms, and we must ensure that they have the support and resources they need to smoothly transition back into civilian life,” Senator Hassan said. “The Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act is critical to those efforts, creating a program to support veterans in accessing child care as they seek employment. I commend Senator Duckworth for her leadership on this important issue, and I look forward to continuing to work together to ensure that our veterans and their families have the support they need to thrive.”

Senator Hassan joined Senators Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Tina Smith (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Bill Nelson (D-FL) in supporting the bill.

The Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act would help ensure that any veteran who is the primary caretaker and is participating in a VA or DOL workforce or job training programs, including the Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment (VR&E), VA Compensated Work Therapy (CWT), Education and Career Counseling Program, Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Program or Homeless Female Veterans, and Veterans With Families (HFVVWF) has access to child care services. Increased access to child care services would be provided by a stipend for payment of any licensed provider, a direct provision of child care at an on-site facility at the VA, or collaboration with a facility or program of another federal department or agency.

Senator Hassan has long fought to ensure that veterans and their families have access to the resources they need to transition back into civilian life. Senator Hassan cosponsored the bipartisan VETS Act, which passed out of the Senate, to help improve health care access, including mental health treatment, for veterans who experience disabilities or those who live in rural areas by expanding telehealth services provided by the VA. The Senator also cosponsored the Deborah Sampson Act to assist and empower women veterans by improving services and access at the VA for women veterans.

The Senator also joined a number of her colleagues in introducing the Child Care for Working Families Act, a comprehensive bill to ensure that hard-working families have access to affordable, high-quality child care and preschool. The Child Care for Working Families Act would create a federal-state partnership to ensure that families making less than 150 percent of their state’s median income do not pay more than seven percent of their income on child care.

The following organizations also support the Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act: Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, American Veterans (AMVETS), Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Wounded Warrior Project, Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH) and Blind Veterans of America (BVA).