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Abby Finkenauer


WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) helped pass two bills on Wednesday that will improve access to affordable and quality childcare. The Child Care Is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act each passed the House Wednesday.

Finkenauer previously introduced the Child Care Is Essential Act and is a cosponsor of the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act.

“We must improve access to quality and affordable childcare in Iowa and across the country – for our families, our communities and our economy,” Finkenauer said. “Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, we held roundtables in Iowa on this issue and it was clear our hardworking families needed more options for childcare. Now, it’s absolutely critical for recovery from the pandemic.

“Together, the two bills we passed today will help stabilize the childcare sector,” Finkenauer said. “I’m proud of the progress these bills represent, but know that we have much work left to do to address this ongoing crisis, which is why I’m proud to have recently introduced two other bipartisan childcare bills.”

The Child Care Is Essential Act will help keep childcare providers in business and help working Iowa families by:

- Providing grants and getting funds to providers quickly

- Providing tuition and copayment relief to families

- Prioritizing providers that serve underserved populations

The Child Care for Economic Recovery Act improves access to quality childcare by:

- Increasing funds for the Child Care Entitlement to States program

- Supporting family care for essential workers during COVID-19

- Making it easier for working families to afford childcare with improved tax benefits to help offset the costs

- Investing in infrastructure to improve child care safety

As chairwoman of the Small Business Committee’s Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade and Entrepreneurship (RATE) Subcommittee, Finkenauer has been a strong advocate for affordable and quality childcare options and hardworking Iowa families. She has led numerous efforts to address the crisis and ensure Iowans’ voices are being heard in Congress.

Some of Finkenauer’s work includes:

- Introducing the bipartisan Affordable Child Care for Economic Strategies and Success (ACCESS) Act to allow federal economic development grants to be used for improving the accessibility of affordable, quality of childcare.

- Introducing the bipartisan COACH Act to create an easy-to-access federal resource guide to help childcare providers start and grow their small businesses.

- Introducing the Child Care Is Essential Act to improve childcare options for Iowans and ensure providers have the resources to weather the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

- Leading a hearing on the importance of improving access to affordable and quality childcare.

- Joining several members of the Small Business Committee in introducing the bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act.

- Introducing HR 3986, the Child Care Protection Improvement Act of 2019, to improve the completion of background checks for childcare providers who receive funding through the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and supported the Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act, which addresses the shortage of affordable, quality childcare through competitive grants to states.