South Florida Congresswoman Champions $50 Billion for Childcare PPE

Last week, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, D-Fla., unveiled a $50 billion proposal to offer personal protection equipment (PPE) for children and childcare workers.

The South Florida congresswoman introduced the “Ensuring Protection in Childcare (EPIC) Act” which, her office noted, “provides childcare facilities with federal grants to purchase PPE and other supplies to ensure the safety and health of children and childcare workers.

“Our childcare facilities are essential to our economic recovery, and we must prioritize making them safe for our children and childcare workers,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “My legislation will allow childcare facilities in South Florida and across the country to apply for federal grants to purchase personal protective equipment, cleaning materials, and other supplies needed to keep their staff and the children healthy and safe. I will continue advocating for the federal resources necessary to combat this virus.”

The bill would “create a $50 billion Child Care Stabilization Fund within the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program; distribute grants to childcare centers, home-based childcare providers, and family childcare homes; support childcare workers by keeping them on payroll; support working families by providing them with reliefs from co-payments and tuition as a condition of receiving stabilizing funds.”

Mucarsel-Powell noted that more than 60 percent of childcare facilities have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic. Her office insisted the congresswoman’s proposal will “help provide childcare centers with the resources they need to reopen and remain open, provide parents with peace of mind that their children will be cared for, and boost our economic recovery by helping our working families return to work once public health conditions allow.”

The bill was sent to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee last week. So far, Mucarsel-Powell has not reeled in any cosponsors. There is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate.

 

Reach Kevin Derby at kevin.derby@floridadaily.com.

 

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