WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and Todd Young (R-IN) introduced bipartisan legislation to improve access to affordable childcare for families with parents working nontraditional hours. The After Hours Child Care Act would support expanding existing childcare programs, or establishing new facilities in some cases, so parents can remain in the workforce and provide for their families while working outside of the traditional work hours of 9 AM to 5 PM.
“As everyone with a young child knows, parenting is a 24-hour job. Our bipartisan bill would help ensure that parents who are working to provide for their family outside regular business hours can still access necessary childcare,” Senator Hassan said. “I will continue working with Senator Young to build support for this important legislation, which will help bring peace of mind to parents across New Hampshire, provide children with the support that they need to thrive, and ensure that parents can go to work and participate in the economy.”
“Hoosier parents rely on affordable childcare in order to remain attached to the workforce, advance their careers, and feed their families,” said Senator Young. “Currently, childcare options are extremely limited for families, especially in rural Indiana communities. The After Hours Child Care Act will help address the needs of parents working nontraditional hours, enabling them to more easily accept employment opportunities that best fit their needs.”
“Effectively addressing the nation’s childcare crisis is critical to maintaining a stable workforce. Unfortunately, the needs of working families are not uniform and require innovative and flexible solutions,” said Director of Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative Linda Smith. “The need has never been greater than it is for hard-working families whose shifts require them to be on-site during non-traditional hours, especially for our first responders, hospital workers, manufacturers, and those in the service industry. Senators Young and Hassan’s bill is a critical step in the right direction in supporting state and industry efforts to secure safe, quality childcare for their employees.”
If enacted, the After Hours Child Care Act would:
Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to support families in New Hampshire. For instance, the year-end government funding bill that is now law included a measure that Senator Hassan pushed for to increase funding for Child Care and Development Block grants to expand affordable childcare to more families. Additionally, she and Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) recently introduced the bipartisan Healthy Moms and Babies Act to strengthen health care for women before, after, and during childbirth, as well as their infants.
Full bill text can be found here.