WASHINGTON – Seeking to make affordable child care available for more parents, today Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced legislation that would increase access to low-interest loans for child care centers. Kerry’s bill would spur the establishment and expansion of quality child care providers through a lending pilot program that gives non-profit child care centers access to community development loans through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 504 loan program.

“There’s no more important investment in our communities than our children. Every child deserves a healthy, safe place to learn and grow. This bill will help the many non-profit child care facilities that offer Head Start and early education programs by putting within reach the money they need to build, serve more families, or even fix a leaky roof. This is a common-sense investment in our future,” said Kerry, Ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.

The 504 program was created to expand economic development and rebuild communities by providing small business loans for property and equipment with fixed, affordable interest rates and longer terms that help keep the monthly payments down. With child care critical to businesses and their employees, expanding the loan program to cover this sector of our economy will help families keep costs down. The child care provider would only be required to put up 10-20 percent of the loan, making it more affordable.

Currently, the law only allows for-profit child care providers to apply for the 504 loans. However, in many states the majority of child care is offered through non-profit centers, and in the lowest income communities, non-profits may be the only facilities that offer child care services. In addition, many child care centers organize as non-profits in order to be eligible for state lunch programs or state child care reimbursement plans.

To read Kerry’s statement on the Child Care Lending Pilot Act, please click here.