VIRGINA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – During a visit to Naval Air Station Oceana this morning, Sen. Tim Kaine championed proposed legislation to make childcare more affordable for low- and middle-income families.

The Child Care for Working Families Act “would help ensure families can find and afford the child care they need, dramatically expand access to high-quality preschool programs, and boost wages for early childhood workers,” according to Kaine’s office.

The bill, originally introduced in 2021 by Kaine’s co-sponsor Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), would cap families’ childcare expenses at 7% of their household income. If they were unable to find care within their budget, they’d be eligible for subsidies to use at a federally approved childcare facility.

“That would be enormously beneficial to (a) low- to moderate-income family,” Kaine said.

Kaine said that the plan would also provide funds to childcare centers, which, he said, will result in higher wages for childcare providers.

He said that freeing up parents to leave the home and work would ameliorate workforce issues.

“The number of parents who say ‘we just can’t afford it because we can’t find affordable childcare,’ that then leads to the backend problem of an employer saying ‘I can’t hire people’,” Kaine said.

Kaine also pointed to funding he aided in securing in 2022 legislation to build a second child care development center at Naval Air Station Oceana.