June 09, 2022

Hirono Calls for Federal Investment in Affordable, Accessible Child Care

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) delivered remarks in support of child care investments during a press conference with parents, child care advocates, and other members of Congress. Senator Hirono emphasized the importance of making high-quality child care both affordable and accessible, and also highlighted the disproportionate impact that the lack of child care has on women.

“I’m really glad to stand here with my colleagues from both the House and the Senate to say that we need legislation to enable all of this,” said Senator Hirono in her remarks. “Businesses large and small are talking about how much they need employees, and yet they don’t seem to be able to connect the dots that a large part of why they can’t meet those needs is because we don’t provide affordable, accessible child care.”

Senator Hirono has been a strong and consistent advocate for early childhood programs during her time in Congress.

Last year, she and Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Bob Casey (D-PA) reintroduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would ensure working and middle class families have access to high-quality, affordable child care. She also helped pass the American Rescue Plan Act, which included $39 billion for child care programs in the United States—including nearly $130 million to support Hawaii child care programs.

More recently, she met with Hawaii parents and child care providers to discuss the shortage of quality, affordable child care in the state.

A transcript of Senator Hirono’s remarks is below and video can be found here.

Aloha, everybody. So, I heard the word ‘stress’ used a number of times today. You know, businesses large and small are stressed because they can’t find workers at a time when we have some of the lowest unemployment rates in – I don’t even know – decades. We have child care providers who are stressed because they want to provide a service that they love – they love children. I’ve talked with child care providers in Hawaii and they’ve lost employees too, so they’re stressed. And parents are stressed because they can’t find accessible, affordable child care.

There is an answer, folks, and I’m really glad to stand here with my colleagues from both the House and the Senate to say that we need legislation to enable all of this to be happening in our country. We are one of the few countries – developed nations – that does not provide this kind of support to our families. And you notice that a lot these burdens fall on women? Yeah. So, I’m really glad that there are so many women here and enlightenment to come together to say we need to do this because businesses large and small are talking about how much they need employees, and yet they don’t seem to be able to connect the dots that a large part of why they can’t meet those needs is because we don’t provide affordable, accessible child care. And that’s what we’re here to do, so mahalo everybody, we shall persevere.

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