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Ernst Continues Work to Address Child Care Access for Iowa Families

Senator Ernst is the Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee.

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) and Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) introduced the bipartisan Small Business Child Care Investment Act to help meet the needs of families, business owners, and growing communities calling for expanded child care access. The legislation would increase the availability of affordable, high-quality child care to working families by allowing small, non-profit child care providers, including religiously-affiliated non-profits, to participate in Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs.


“When traveling from river to river across Iowa, I consistently hear that access to quality, affordable child care is a workforce barrier for our growing communities. This bipartisan, commonsense solution will increase child care options and lessen the burdens on working families by expanding opportunities for providers, including religious non-profits,” said Ernst, Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business Committee.



The SBA currently offers multiple programs to help small businesses access capital, including the 7(a) program and the 504/Certified Development Company program. Through these initiatives, the SBA provides loan guarantees for small businesses that cannot acquire credit elsewhere. Currently, for-profit child care centers are eligible for these programs.


The Child Care Small Business Investment Act would make non-profit child care providers eligible for 7(a) and 504 loan programs under the SBA, so long as they are licensed by the state and their employees have had criminal background checks. This legislation would also ensure that religiously-affiliated non-profits qualify for these loan programs.