First Focus on Children submitted the following comment to Secretary Xavier Becerra at the United States Department of Health and Human Services to express appreciation for the proposed rules that will make child care more affordable and accessible and will also increase respect and support for providers.

Excerpt from the Comment:

Access to high-quality and affordable child care benefits communities in various ways, and impacts children, families, and the child care workforce but also the nation at-large. Ensuring parents have secure care for their children while pursuing job opportunities or educational pursuits supports not only benefits families, but our entire economy. The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is a lifeline for families who receive it, but far too few families who are eligible actually receive support. Only one in six children eligible for child care assistance under federal law received it as of data from 2019. Only 2.5% of infants and toddlers experiencing homelessness were enrolled in CCDF. And according to research from 2019, access to CCDF-funded child care varies significantly by race and ethnicity across states, with Latino and Asian families accessing subsidies at the lowest rates overall because parents may be deterred if the application materials are not in their native language.1 Research from the Migrant Policy Institute shows that Dual Language Learners (DLLs) who participate in CCDF experience meaningful benefits, and these programs also represent an accessible employment opportunity for many immigrant and adults with limited English Proficiency (LEP) who comprise a significant proportion of the early childhood workforce.

Read the full comment.