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Advocates Push For Child Care Inclusion In Democratic Spending Bill

Courtesy of Save the Children

Connecticut children’s advocates joined U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal to urge Congress to fund affordable child care in a budget package.

A $3.5 trillion budget bill is currently before Congress. Blumenthal is pushing for $400 billion to be included for child care.

Merrill Gay is the executive director of Early Childhood Alliance. He said the COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for daycares to stay open between staff shortages and low demand.

“The pandemic unsettled a lot of things, but its really exaggerated what already existed or magnified what already existed, which is that we have a broken system,” Gay said.

Child care centers did get help through the pandemic stimulus packages, but Gay said centers used the money to pay off existing debts.

Blumenthal said child care remains unaffordable despite its importance to families across the state.

“Nothing is more important, nothing, than investment in childcare the present system is unsustainable,” Blumenthal said.

The House is expected to pass the bill next week.

Clare is a former news fellow with WSHU Public Radio.