Sen. Casey pushes for affordable child care

He said the bill needs just one Republican to pass.

Hadas Kuznits
May 03, 2018 - 5:45 pm

Office of U.S. Senator Bob Casey

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Sen. Bob Casey visited the KenCrest North Childhood Education Center on North Broad Street Thursday where he discussed with parents and educators the state of Pennsylvania's children. 

"In Senate Bill 1806, we need to get a Republican to work with us to pass this bill to get the cost down for families," Casey said. "Just one is all we need. We don't have a single Republican yet."

 He also talked about the importance of early education opportunities and the need for child care funding.

He noted, however, there is good news in the fight for funding: This year's spending bill allocated money toward child care, medical research, housing and education.

"We proved this year that both parties can ignore the administration who wanted to gut all those programs and come together on a bipartisan bill, but we can't just do it for one year," he said.

Casey said many families spend 18 percent of their salaries on child care, and single moms spend about 49 percent of their income.

"You have to make sure that families can afford their part of the cost," he said. "Families have co-pays and they're paying as well."

Casey added that investing in child care has a beneficial return.

"You invest a buck in a child, you get about 16 bucks back," he said.

Melanie Brennan, director of KenCrest's Early Learning Programs, said she's thrilled money has been allocated for child care in this year's spending bill.

"It really allows children to be learning, safe and in high-quality programs that otherwise [parents would] be piecing together coverage for," she said.

But she said there's more that could be done.

"Unfortunately, it doesn't look like they're putting a higher reimbursement to the provider," she added.