Senator Duckworth Introduces Bill to Help Veterans with Children Access Child Care, Reduce Veteran Unemployment

Tiny Boots Program
(Source: YWCA Metropolitan Chicago)

WASHINGTON, D.C. –(ENEWSPF)—March 16, 2018

By: Rosemary Piser

Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth introduced a bill yesterday along with seven of her colleagues to support Veterans and Veteran families, as well as reduce Veteran unemployment. The proposed legislation will help improve access to child care services for Veterans participating in workforce and job training programs offered by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Department of Labor (DOL).

The Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act would create a federal program modeled after the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ “Tiny Boots” program to help ensure Veterans transitioning to civilian life can access affordable child care during their job seeking process. This is especially important for low-income Veterans, those on the cusp of homelessness or those already homeless. The new legislation is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Bill Nelson (D-FL).

Senator Duckworth said, “Transitioning back into civilian life can be challenging for any Veteran, especially those struggling to find a new job. It can be even harder when a Veteran searching for a new job also has young children to care for. Far too many men and women who have sacrificed in uniform – especially female Veterans – struggle to secure employment after their service because they can’t afford to pay for child care while job searching. We can do so much more to support Veterans who are also working parents, and my new bill will go a long way toward that goal.”

Senator Duckworth has long been an advocate for supporting working families and making affordable child care more accessible to working parents. In 2017, Duckworth helped introduce the Child Care for Working Families Act with U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) to help ensure low- and middle-income American families have access to affordable and high-quality child care. Duckworth also reintroduced the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) Reauthorization Act to help increase access to on-campus child care for student parents, who make up more than one quarter of all college students in America.

Organization that support the Veteran Employment and Child Care Access Act include:

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW),
  • American Legion,
  • American Veterans (AMVETS),
  • Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA),
  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV),
  • Wounded Warrior Project,
  • Service Women’s Action Network (SWAN),
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart (MOPH), and
  • Blind Veterans of America (BVA).