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Rep. Hamilton commends American Rescue Plan for funding early care and education: calls for permanent solution

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Carey Hamilton (D-Indianapolis) today commended Democrats in Congress for funding the $540 million childcare expansion grant program through the American Rescue Plan and calls on the state legislature to enact permanent solutions for Hoosier families.

The newly announced Build, Learn, Grow Stabilization Grants will provide short-term funding for over 3,600 early care and education programs that have faced challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. This grant will serve as a complement to the existing Build, Learn, Grow Scholarship Program which provides approximately 40,000 early care and education scholarships to families of Indiana essential workers.

Existing childcare infrastructure in Indiana is in dire need of reforms as evidenced by a recent report from Early Learning Indiana that found that 86% of Indiana counties lack adequate access to childcare.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the challenges families without adequate access to childcare face and the State's gaps in providing these vital resources,” Hamilton said, “Many parents are struggling to return to the workforce as they face significant challenges including: access to childcare, healthcare, transportation and fair wages. It's time to start supporting Hoosier families, so that they can return to work supporting their families while strengthening the Hoosier economy.

“Thanks to bold action from Congress, Indiana can begin taking steps to create a brighter future for families. While this funding will jump-start efforts toward accessible childcare in our state, it is not a permanent solution. The legislature must take steps to make accessible and affordable childcare and early learning a permanent policy.

“As we work to recover from the pandemic, we must support Hoosiers in returning to work while providing resources that strengthen families and communities. It is well known that investments in early learning are a significant predictor of long-term success of children and therefore our communities.

“If we want to be a competitive state, we must enact policies that will ensure Hoosiers have a bright future and that starts with investing in our children.”

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