Hagedorn Co-leads Bipartisan Effort to Expand Access to Child Care

July 21, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Hagedorn (MN-01) yesterday co-led a bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives to introduce the Affordable Child Care for Economic Strategies and Success (ACCESS) Act with Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer (IA-01).

The legislation works to permit the use of federal economic development grants to improve the accessibility of affordable, quality childcare. Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA) is the lead sponsor for the companion bill in the Senate.

"For too long, parents in southern Minnesota and across America have been burdened with high costs for preschools, long waitlists and few options for childcare services,” said Hagedorn. “This legislation is a major step in the right direction to incentivizing and expanding investments in childcare facilities that will increase competition, spur growth and increase access to affordable childcare over the long haul."

"I’ve heard from Iowa businesses again and again about how childcare is one of the biggest challenges they have when it comes to recruiting and retaining talented employees,” Finkenauer said. "As we strive to address and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, we must be planning for long-term economic growth. Now more than ever, high-quality, affordable childcare for hard-working families is essential to unlocking economic opportunity and growth."

"When parents can’t access child care, there’s a ripple effect in the economy. Iowa has been struggling with a child care crisis for too long, and we need to continue to find ways to address the needs of our parents," said Ernst. "By encouraging public-private partnerships to expand access to child care, this legislation would provide more opportunities for Iowa families and help our state’s economy grow."

Jim Hagedorn was elected in 2018 to represent Minnesota’s First District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He grew up on his family’s grain and livestock farm near Truman. Jim’s father, former U.S. Congressman Tom Hagedorn (MN-02), grandfather, and great-grandfather were all southern Minnesota farmers. Jim currently resides in the rural farming community of Blue Earth. Hagedorn brings policy experience to Capitol Hill from time spent as a congressional aide to former U.S. Congressman Arlan Stangeland (MN-07) and a congressional relations officer for two non-partisan U.S. Department of the Treasury agencies. Hagedorn serves on the House Committees on Agriculture and Small Business to promote farming, Main Street enterprises and southern Minnesota’s way of life.