RI lawmakers call for stronger federal investments in child care


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rhode Island state leaders say investing in caregiving for children and families will in turn create jobs to grow the economy.

On Friday, Gov. Dan McKee was joined by Reps. Jim Langevin and David Cicilline at the Genesis Center, a multi-service organization that offers services to immigrants, refugees and low-income families.

Cicilline said one in seven childcare workers have still not returned to their jobs.

“The average cost of childcare in Rhode Island is ten percent of the typical family’s income,” he said. “Even before the pandemic, almost half of Rhode Islanders lived in communities where childcare options were limited. To put it simply, we need to do more to invest in the care economy.”

McKee said it’s in the best interest of the state for the plan to move forward.

“Restarting Rhode Island’s economy depends on ensuring access to child care,” he said. “We must provide affordable, safe child care that parents and caregivers can rely on, so they can focus on their work and support their families.”

Should the American Families Plan pass, it would invest $225 million in child care and $220 billion in universal pre-kindergarten.

Child care costs would be covered for most hard-pressed Rhode Island families and households making up to $134,000 a year would pay no more than 7% of their income.

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DYSOM 7/30/2021: Thomas McCarthy

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