Three members of Massachusetts' congressional delegation visited a Cambridge day care center Wednesday in what was more than just an opportunity to engage with some adorable babies.
Reps. Katherine Clark, Ayanna Pressley and Lori Trahan were hosting Cecilia Rouse, the chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, to call for the passage of the American Families Plan, which would provide direct support to working parents and children.
The visit was followed by a roundtable of working parents, many of whom have been pushed out of the workforce due to lack of care for family members or have been pushed to the brink during the pandemic.
"This past year has been really, really challenging in trying to figure out how to manage both work and then school, as well as providing her with great child care support," said JC Burton, a single working mom.
Burton is CEO of a construction company who says work was often the first thing to go as she struggled to find a stable, balanced home experience for her 10-year-old daughter.
"Because there was sometimes no other option but to stay at home with her to try to work her through the school that she needed to get through and the classes she needed to get through," Burton said.
Supporters say most aspects of the American Families Plan are popular and bipartisan around the country, except among Republicans on Capitol Hill.
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All these parents expressed hope that free, high-quality day care and better pay for caregivers is on the horizon.
"As soon as a parent is ready to get back to work, we should be able to provide them with low or free child care so that the parents can be productive and contribute to the households," Burton said.
With strong Senate Republican resistance, it's unclear when or even if the American Families Plan will pass, but President Joe Biden insists he is committed to making it happen.