Did you know that the cost of child care has increased by 25 percent in the past decade? With costs steadily rising, more families are forced to pay more than they make for child care. To help alleviate barriers to child care access, Senator Patty Murray has introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act.
the cost of child care has increased by 25 percent in the past decade.
On Tuesday, Oct. 10, Sen. Murray visited Bates Technical College’s Early Learning Center to meet with local parents and talk about the bill. The bill would decrease child care costs for working families, support universal access to high-quality early childhood education, and improve compensation and training for the child care workforce.
Sen. Murray, a former preschool teacher, has spent several days visiting child care centers around the state to highlight the critical importance of expanding access to quality child care and early learning centers in Washington state and throughout the nation.
As part of her stop, Sen. Murray toured the ELC with Director Wendy Newby, where she spoke with center staff to learn more about the unique challenges that families in Tacoma face in order to access affordable, high-quality child care.
After visiting children in the preschool rooms, Sen. Murray’s tour ended with a roundtable conversation with early childhood education experts and a group of Tacoma parents, who shared their stories of finding the right child care for their families, and how the experience has shaped their families’ lives.
One example of the value of affordable, high-quality child care came from within the Bates family. During the discussion, Senator Murray heard from current Biomedical Service Technician student Alex Hagman and his wife Eloisa. A Bates alumna, Eloisa now works at the college’s Early Learning Center as a teacher.
The couple told Sen. Murray that the subsidies she and Alex receive for their four-month-old child Joey to attend Bates Technical College’s child care center allows her to pursue her career while Alex earns his degree.
We were fortunate to have access to quality and affordable child care through Bates’ Early Learning Center.
Said Eloisa, “As a mom, I understand family struggles and the important decisions parents make when it comes to finding child care that fits the needs of working families. We were fortunate to have access to quality and affordable child care through Bates’ Early Learning Center. Having our infant son Joey just steps away from both Alex and me allows us to stay focused on our educational goals and support our family,” she said.
Click here to read about the Child Care for Working Families bill. To learn more about the Bates Technical College Early Learning Center, visit www.bates.ctc.edu/Early-Learning-Center or call 253.680.7384.