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Charbonneau: Bill to address child care access and affordability passes Senate

Charbonneau: Bill to address child care access and affordability passes Senate

STATEHOUSE (Jan. 30, 2024) — A Senate Republican priority bill authored by State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) that would make child care more accessible and affordable for Hoosier families passed the Senate with bipartisan support today.

Senate Bill 2 would roll out multiple new policies to help more people become child care workers and cut certain regulations that drive up the cost of operating a child care facility.

"Child care is an infrastructure issue facing Indiana and we need to offer options that help Hoosier families," Charbonneau said. "Senate Bill 2 would help expand the child care options for Hoosiers and make it more reliable and affordable, thus bolstering our workforce."

SB 2 would allow more children of child care workers to automatically qualify for assistance from On My Way Pre-K and the Child Care and Development Fund, ultimately encouraging more parents to become child care workers themselves by reducing the financial burden.

The bill would also create a pilot program for at least three "micro facilities" that serve between three and 30 children to operate with reduced regulations under the supervision of the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA). These micro facilities would represent geographically diverse areas with a critical shortage of child care.

In addition, SB 2 would expand the number of people qualified to work in child care and speed up the timeline for the Early Learning Advisory Committee to review child care regulations.

Finally, to improve Indiana's child care data, SB 2 would require FSSA to establish a dashboard on their website that includes monthly updates on the number of child care subsidies available, the average copay required under each subsidy and the number of children on a wait list for each subsidy.

"As a believer of data-based decisions, I'm pleased to see Senate Bill 2 continue to move forward in the legislative process," Charbonneau said. "I am proud to champion a bill that supports Hoosier families by expanding child care options, and I look forward to shepherding this bill as it moves over to the House of Representatives."

SB 2 will now move to the House of Representatives for further consideration.

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State Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R-Valparaiso) represents Senate District 5,
which includes Pulaski and White counties, and portions of Jasper and Porter counties.
Click here to download a high-resolution photo.

Contact: Emma Balzer, Senior Press Secretary