House Democrats Applaud the Biden Administration’s Proposal to Raise Wages for Child Care Workforce

WASHINGTON – Education and the Workforce Committee Ranking Member Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), and 31 House Democrats applauded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) proposal to raise wages for Head Start workforce and better support children and families.

“We can no longer stand by as dedicated and qualified early childhood educators leave Head Start programs due to unacceptably low wages, while families struggle to find quality, affordable child care and early education options,” the Members wrote.

The proposed changes to the Head Start Program Performance Standards would address the program’s staffing shortage and improve services for children enrolled in Head Start.  It would expand access to Head Start benefits by removing barriers to migrant and seasonal programming, confront transportation challenges for enrollees, and increase staff wages and access to benefits in order to improve employee retention.

While House Democrats support the Biden Administration’s proposal, they continue to call for additional investments in Head Start to support staff and the families they serve.

“While we support the policy changes proposed in this rule and believe they will strengthen the Head Start program, we ask that the Department to take as many steps as possible to ensure the implementation of these policy changes does not disrupt Head Start services for any children and families currently served through the program,” said the Members. “We continue to call for additional investments in Head Start, but short of that, we urge the Department to thoughtfully implement this proposal to ensure that the final rule yields the full benefit for children, families, and Head Start staff.”

The letter was signed by 31 Representatives, including: Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.-At Large), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14), Adam B. Schiff (CA-30), Greg Landsman (OH-01), Kathy Castor (FL-14), Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01), Danny K. Davis (IL-07), Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Dwight Evans (PA-03), Nikki Budzinski (IL-13), Sara Jacobs (CA-51), Julia Brownley (CA-26), Jonathan L. Jackson (IL-01), John Garamendi (CA-08), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Seth Magaziner (RI-02), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA-44), Lois Frankel (FL-22), Judy Chu (CA-28), Becca Balint (VT-At Large), James P. McGovern (MA-02), Sean Casten (IL-06), Teresa Leger Fernández (NM-03), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-10), Frederica S. Wilson (FL-24), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Juan Vargas (CA-52), and Glenn Ivey (MD-04).

Read the full text of the letter here.


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