Congressman Steven Horsford Votes to Improve Child Care Access for Working Families and Ensure the Safe Reopening of the Economy

July 29, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- Today, Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04) voted to pass The Child Care is Essential Act (H.R. 7027) and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act (H.R.7237), two urgently-needed bills that will provide child care relief for families and providers and support the safe reopening of the U.S. economy. 

“The COVID-19 crisis has devastated the child care sector, forcing the closure of several facilities across the country and in Nevada and exacerbating the shortage of quality, affordable care. These closures can remain permanent without robust federal investment,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “We cannot continue to plan for the reopening of our economy without adequate support for parents returning to work and resources for child care providers. I’m proud that today’s legislation will provide real solutions to protect working families.”

Nevada is estimated to lose 17,302 licensed child care slots during the coronavirus crisis, which is 42% of child care supply in the state. This will cause a significant strain on providers, children, and families who are already suffering from losses to revenue and access to care. 

The Child Care is Essential Act (H.R. 7027) provides grant funding to child care providers to stabilize the child care sector and support providers to safely reopen and operate. The bill would allocate $461,480,488 to Nevada and would help child care providers stay open, keep employees on the payroll, and safely operate under new guidelines. The bill includes: 

  • Stabilization grants for personnel costs, sanitation and cleaning, training and other goods and services needed to maintain or resume operation of the child care program.
  • Support for child care workers. This bill requires employers to keep child care workers on payroll at the same compensation level as pre-COVID as a condition of receiving stabilization grant funds.
  • Support for working families by requiring providers to relieve families of copayments or tuition.
  • Promotion of health and safety through compliance with public health guidance. Under this legislation, open providers would be required to meet health and safety guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local authorities. 

The section-by-section summary of the bill can be found here

The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act (H.R.7237) would provide ongoing federal investments and tax subsidies for working families, helping to bring quality child care within their reach to support ongoing employment. It also provides tax credits to support child care providers affected by COVID-19 shutdowns. Specifically, the bill: 

  • Enhances the child and dependent care tax credit (CDCTC) by making the CDCTC refundable, allowing many low- and middle-income families to claim the credit for the first time. 
  • Expands the dependent care flexible spending accounts (FSA) by doubling the amount that can be contributed to a dependent care FSA and provides flexibility for families who have unforeseen changes in dependent care needs as a result of COVID-19.
  • Creates a new tax credit to help employees access quality, affordable child care by providing a new 30 percent refundable payroll tax credit for eligible employee dependent care benefits paid by employers. 
  • Provides a new refundable payroll tax credit for child care providers. The legislation creates a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit for mortgage obligations, rent obligations, and utility payments incurred by child care facilities that have suffered a reduction in revenue or are subject to a COVID-19 related closure. 
  • Incentivizes employers to keep child care workers on payroll when it expands the employee retention tax credit (ERTC). 
  • Increases funds for the Child Care Entitlement to States program. This proposal increases guaranteed federal funding for the Child Care Entitlement to States (CCES) up to $10 billion per year for FY2020 – FY2024, and waives state match requirements for the additional funds for FY2020 and FY2021, in order to provide sustained and predictable support.
  • In conjunction with the CDCTC, parlays federal investments into better child care options for working families. 
  • Supports family care for essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis by providing $850 million to states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories to fill in gaps in dependent care for essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • Invests in infrastructure to improve child care safety. The bill includes a $10 billion investment over the 2020-2024 period to improve child care facilities and infrastructure. 

The section-by-section summary of the bill can be found here