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Senate approved a bill to increase support for childcare providers



Indianapolis, Indiana – A bill that state senators almost unanimously supported on Tuesday could make more childcare providers eligible for childcare credits.

The bill hasn’t altered much from when it was first introduced. If a childcare provider earns up to 85% of the state median income, or $59,412 annually for a family of three, they may qualify for Child Care Development Fund vouchers, which assist with the cost of child care. It would allow 16 and 17-year-olds to work in childcare facilities under constant supervision and lower the minimum age requirement to work in childcare from 21 to 18. A pilot program to investigate child care micro facilities—which would provide care for three to thirty kids in a non-residential environment, such as a business—would also be established by the proposal.

The bill is of utmost importance to Senate Republicans. Senate President Ed Charbonneau, a Republican from Valparaiso, claimed that the bill’s genesis was hearings regarding Indiana’s health needs.

“Quickly, we realized that child care is an infrastructure issue for the state of Indiana,” he said. “It affects every aspect of our economy.”

According to Charbonneau, the legislation’s objective is to incentivize more people to join or remain in the childcare industry, which will increase the number of services available. Operators of childcare centers stated during a hearing on the measure earlier this month that they struggle to keep employees because poor compensation prevents caregivers from being able to afford care services for their children.

Both parties supported the bill. Senate Democrats have been working on similar bills for years, according to Bloomington senator Shelli Yoder, a Democrat. She stated that while there is still work to be done, such as making child care more accessible to everybody, the present measure is a significant first step.

“It’s been a great opportunity to work together and show Hoosiers that we can work together and come up with some solutions,” she said. “What we were able to do in a non-budget year, you (Charbonneau) worked really hard at accomplishing that.”

The House will now consider the bill.



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