March 31, 2020

Wyden Urges Trump Administration to Address Child Care Needs of Frontline Workers

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today joined his colleagues to urge Donald Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) to take additional steps to expand child care options for health care workers and others on the frontlines responding to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Frontline workers are needed at their places of employment now more than ever, but in many cases do not have safe child care for their children,” the senators wrote to Shannon Christian, Director of DHS’ Office of Child Care. “We must work together to identify ways to provide child care access to workers who are performing necessary services, like health care workers…This global pandemic, which is unparalleled in modern day history, requires us to look beyond the typical measures to address community needs.”

The senators also requested HHS provide critical guidance to child care providers to ensure that they are taking appropriate action to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 at centers that remain open.

The bipartisan COVID-19 package that Donald Trump signed into law last week includes $3.5 billion in emergency funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant, and the senators ask for details from HHS by April 6 on what it is doing to ensure that this funding is used most effectively.

In addition to Wyden, the letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., Bob Casey, D-Pa., Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Patty Murray, D-Wash., Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Jack Reed, D-R.I., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Tina Smith, D-Minn., Tim Kaine, D-Va. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Tom Carper, D-Del., Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., Elizabeth Warren , D-Mass., Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Kamala Harris, D-Calif.

A copy of the letter is available here.