(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Chair of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, today highlighted a new Small Business Majority report that shows more than two-thirds of small business owners support legislative action to address the child care affordability and accessibility crisis.   

“This report underscores the urgent need to thoroughly consider and pass legislation that provides additional funding, tax incentives and access to capital to address America’s broken child care system,” said Chair Shaheen. “We must act now. In the Granite State alone, nearly 1,500 child care slots have been lost since 2019 after dozens of child care centers closed during and after the pandemic. As a longtime advocate for increased support of child care providers and young families, I am laser-focused on working with my Senate colleagues to address the current child care crisis. That is why tomorrow I will be holding a hearing on the impacts of the child care crisis on small businesses and how small child care providers are affected.” 

Highlights from the report, which surveyed 566 small business owners nationwide, are below. A full copy can be found HERE.  
Lack of access to child care is a barrier to small business formation and growth: 

  • More than 90 percent of respondents are parents, of which nearly 60 percent reported that a lack of access to affordable, high-quality child care served as a barrier to starting and growing their small business.

Small business owners’ child care issues impact their ability to run their businesses:

  • 58 percent of respondents believe child care issues have negatively impacted their productivity, with women and younger entrepreneurs more likely to report this notion.

Small business employees frequently experience schedule disruptions: 

  • Due to child care issues, 62 percent of respondents experienced unplanned employee work absences, 30 percent had an employee quit, 30 percent had a job candidate turn down an offer, 27 percent had an employee turn down a promotion and 16 percent had to fire a routinely absent employee.

Workplace policies: 

  • To ease the child care burden, more than 50 percent of respondents offer flexible scheduling and remote work, 50 percent allow employees to bring their children to work and about 30 percent offer on-site child care. 

Chair Shaheen will convene a hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, April 10th, 2024, at 2:30 PM, where the committee will hear testimony from expert witnesses on the child care industry’s broken business model and what Congress can do to support small business child care providers, employees and families. 

Shaheen understands how important child care is to families in New Hampshire and across the United States. Shaheen recently introduced the Right Start Child Care and Education Act of 2024 with Senator Angus King (I-ME) to help make child care more affordable and accessible for working families by reforming the tax code, including by creating a new tax credit for child care professionals with college degrees to strengthen the child care workforce. 

Shaheen has been a leader in advocating for more accessible and affordable child care. Shaheen took to the Senate floor urging Congress to pass President Biden’s request for $16 billion to support child care stabilization grants in the domestic supplemental funding request. In 2021, Senator Shaheen led the effort to deliver $77 million in child care relief funding to the State of New Hampshire through the American Rescue Plan. Since then, she has worked to hold the State accountable for delays in distributing some of those federal funds and helped deliver grants throughout the state, especially in communities that lack access to child care facilities.  

Last year, Shaheen joined Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to introduce the Child Care for Working Families Act, which provides affordable child care for all working families, expands access to preschool programs and increases wages for early childhood workers. She also joined U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK) in reintroducing the Childcare Workforce and Facilities Act to address the national shortage of affordable, quality child care, especially in rural communities. In addition, Senator Shaheen joined U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Patty Murray (D-WA) in introducing the Child Care Stabilization Act to provide additional federal child care stabilization funding to child care providers.