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Delaware Senate Democrats

STATEMENT: Sen. Gay and Sen. McBride applaud Administration’s child care investment announcement

March 20, 2024

DOVER — At the beginning of the 152nd General Assembly, the Senate Majority Caucus identified child care affordability as a top legislative priority. In response to yesterday’s announcement made by the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services and Governor John Carney, Senator Kyle Evans Gay and Senator Sarah McBride — prime sponsors of Senate Bill 58Senate Bill 59, and Senate Resolution 16 — have released the following joint statement:

“Far too many Delaware families either cannot afford the cost of child care or live in a place where child care is scarce or completely inaccessible. This cost crisis facing families is only deepened — especially in Kent and Sussex counties — by the fact that child care providers do not receive the support or funding necessary to operate these critical small businesses.  

It’s up to us to invest heavily in our child care infrastructure, lowering costs for the thousands of families who are simply trying to make ends meet while simultaneously supporting the early educators and providers who serve Delaware families and children. 

As a result of reporting required by Senate Resolution 16, we learned that funds allocated to help low-income families seeking care could be better utilized, increasing access to child care supports. 

The Administration’s plan to cap copayments at 7% of a family’s income and eliminate copayments entirely for families below 150% of the federal poverty level will ensure that significantly more Delaware children will be afforded placement in a high-quality child care facility. Moreover, increasing the number of child absence days that the State will offer child care providers necessary flexibility and stability when building their budgets and setting their attendance policies. 

This funding announcement begins to move our State in the direction that we laid out last spring with the introduction of Senate Bills 58 and 59. We are thrilled that the Administration has adopted many aspects of those bills in this recent announcement. This is a significant step forward, but we also must be clear that more work remains to foster an equitable funding landscape that better supports children, parents, and early childhood educators alike. We remain united in our commitment to that vision. 

Making care more affordable for families strengthens our workforce while ensuring safe, high-quality settings that promote early learning for children. And when we stabilize funding, we ensure a more sustainable child care infrastructure that serves every Delaware family.”



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