Legislation to assist families with childcare costs passes House of Delegates
The cost of childcare is prohibitive for many Virginia families, with increased pressure from the lengthy interruption in in-person school in many areas.
And then there’s the pressure on incomes. The most recent weekly U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse survey results for Virginia shows that 48.5 percent of families with children under age 18 have lost income since March 2020, compared to 38.7 percent of households without children.
Families across race, ethnicity, and income brackets have been financially affected by the pandemic.
The House of Delegates on Tuesday passed HB 2206, legislation introduced by Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn to assist low- and middle-income Virginia families with childcare costs during and after the pandemic.
The bill would allow eligible families with children under the age of 13 to apply for vouchers administered by the Department of Social Services to assist with the cost of part-time or full-time childcare at an approved facility.
Families making up to $88,000 are eligible, and the legislation includes an emergency clause allowing for immediate enactment with the approval of Gov. Ralph Northam.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the immense value of quality, accessible childcare for Virginia families,” Filler-Corn said. “These times have been incredibly hard on parents balancing the need to put food on the table while having to look after their children at home. This legislation will help lighten the burden on working families by making quality childcare more affordable during this public health crisis. I am thankful to have the bipartisan support of my colleagues in the House as we work to protect families and build the foundation for a better Virginia.”