As Prepared For Delivery:

Thank you, Vice President Harris, for sharing how child care affects so many American families—including your own.

And thank you for your leadership on issues that are so critical to women and families across America, including from your time in California and in the Senate.

Good morning, everyone.

This Administration has made it a priority to help families access affordable, high-quality early care and education.

Because we know this is a huge cost to families. 

And if we want workers to participate and be productive in the labor force, we need to help families and individuals access affordable, high-quality care.

Today’s proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services would do just that, as the Vice President just detailed.

The truth  is that making high-quality child care more accessible to families is a no-brainer.

It helps parents get kids ready to learn. Expanded access to child care leads to long-lasting benefits for children—especially those that are more economically disadvantaged. These include improved health outcomes as adults; improved high school and college completion rates; and higher earnings as an adult.[1]

It makes our economy more productive. One study found that the economic impact of insufficient child care is $122 billion in lost earnings, productivity, and revenue each year.[2]

It helps families balance their responsibilities at work and at home.  So many parents worry about whether their kids are getting the care they need and deserve. 

As a working mom myself, I know the stress and worry parents face when it comes to affording good quality child care. 

When my kids were younger, I remember worrying at work whether they were getting the quality care they needed, and we were a lot luckier than a lot of parents.

So I know how important this work is and I’m proud to be part of an Administration that gets it.

This proposed rule builds on President Biden’s tremendous track record on behalf of those receiving and providing care.

The Biden-Harris Administration’s investments saved child care in this country.

During the height of the pandemic, the President secured the largest one-time investment in child care in this nation’s history.

4 out of every 5 child care providers in the country received this funding.

1 out of every 3 funding recipients reported they would have closed permanently without those resources.

And these funds increased labor force participation among mothers.

President Biden’s Budget reaffirms his commitment to seeking the investments that we need to transform early childhood in this country.

The President secured a critical 30 percent bump in funding for child care this last fiscal year.

To continue that progress, the President’s budget for fiscal year 2024 would ensure nearly every working family has access to affordable, high-quality early care and education.

Plus, it would help the median-income family with young children save about $400 per month—while accessing higher quality care.

It would also ensure that early educators are paid at a level that reflects the value they provide to communities. As Congress considers those proposals, the President did not wait to take action to improve child care.

In April, the President signed a historic Executive Order on care, as Vice President Harris noted.

It represents the most comprehensive set of actions any President has ever taken to advance care.

Its impact continues with today’s proposed rule—yet another deliverable from the President’s Executive Order.

It would lower families’ child care costs for tens of thousands of families.

For example, it caps copayments at no more than 7%—which will lower child care costs for nearly 80,000 families.

It also would increase parents’ child care options.

And it would improve the financial stability of child providers so that parents can find child care—when and where they need it.

Thank you. With that, I’m happy to turn it back over to the moderator. 

[1] For example, the Abecederian Project provided high-quality early care and education services for children from birth to school entry and targeted disadvantaged families. The program was evaluated by random assignment and followed participants through their mid-30s. Research findings showed improvement in reading and math achievement that persisted throughout the entire period of school enrollment. Long-term benefits for the sample included a fourfold improvement in their rate of university graduation. Adult-age follow-up disclosed unexpected benefits in life course variables including better health, more equitable social decision making, and reduced criminal behavior.


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