RICHMOND, Va. — Freedom Virginia today issued the following statement in response to an anonymous GOP delegate who told the Washington Post that Republicans should have run on affordability issues like “inflation, grocery bills, gas bills, fuel costs, freakin’ child care”:
“We agree with the anonymous Republican delegate who said the GOP should focus on affordability issues like ‘freakin child care,’” said Freedom Virginia Executive Director Rhena Hicks. “Parents across Virginia are deeply concerned about their ability to afford the childcare they need to thrive. We welcome bipartisan action to prioritize major investment in affordable childcare instead of more handouts to millionaires and corporations. For more than 75% of parents who cannot access affordable care for their young children, it is absolutely time for the Virginia legislature to prioritize ‘freakin’ child care.’”
Twenty-four billion in federal COVID-relief funds to stabilize child care providers expired in Sept. 2023, with an additional $15 billion in subsidies to help families access childcare expiring in Sept. 2024. The Century Foundation predicts that up to half of Virginia’s childcare providers could close with the loss of federal funding.
JLARC estimates that $319 million is the required general fund cost to continue the improvements to Virginia’s child care program and maintain current levels of enrollment. If no action is taken, tens of thousands of families and children will lose access to care, jeopardizing their financial wellbeing and our economy.