Haaland Child Care Roundtable Seeks to Address New Mexico Families’ Concerns During Pandemic

August 11, 2020
Press Release

Albuquerque, N.M. – Today, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) held a virtual roundtable with child care experts from New Mexico to address teacher, parent and student concerns about schools reopening and returning to work during the COVID-19 pandemic. During the conversation, Haaland highlighted the child care initiatives in Congress that aim to provide resources for child care centers, providers, early learning opportunities for New Mexico kids.

“As we look to a future when more parents get back to working outside their homes, the child care industry needs federal support to safely adapt to the new normal and welcome families and employees back,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland during the roundtable. “By investing in the child care industry, we invest in our economy and our future.”

Participating in Haaland’s child care roundtable were Boys and Girls Clubs of Central New Mexico, UNM Children's Campus, UNM Family Development Program, UNM Health Sciences Center Incident Management Team (IMT) Response to Childcare during COVID-19, Alvarado Day School Inc., City of Albuquerque Child and Family Development, Little Corral Day School, ABC Preschool and Child Care, Childcare and Early Learning Presbyterian Medical Services, and

Experts shed light on the ways in which New Mexico’s educators, schools, and child care providers are meeting the needs of essential workers and the challenges that they face to meet those needs.

“The foresight of UNM and its leadership, to provide childcare resources for our employees during COVID-19, has starkly revealed that health care workers and other essential workers’ ability to care for New Mexicans depends on access to safe, affordable childcare,” said Jessica Kelly, Deputy Chief of Staff, UNM Health Science. “UNM is committed to working with our city, state, tribal and federal partners to further support all of our employees who depend on childcare, so that they can complete their important work on behalf of New Mexicans.”

"The mission of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central New Mexico is to inspire all youth, especially those who need us the most, to reach their full potential as caring, responsible, and productive citizens. During these trying times, our services are needed now more than ever.  The Club is committed to being there for our community in any capacity to ensure our youth's needs are being met," said Christian Naea, Boys and Girls Clubs of Central New Mexico Chief Program Officer.

Haaland led a call with 34 other Members of Congress urging the Secretary of Defense to use creative solutions and collaboration with community partners to address the child care crisis for military families as this can become a military readiness issue and also cosponsored The Child Care is Essential Act and the Child Care for Economic Recovery Act, both of which recently passed out of the House. 

Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) and Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20) called on House Leadership to prioritize the needs of and provide Family Care to family caregivers and essential workers as Congress addresses the needs of families during the coronavirus. Family Care would expand paid sick, medical, and family leave, provide access to affordable childcare, provide affordable physical and mental health care, ensure supports for the caregiving of seniors and people with disabilities, and provide cash assistance to offset the unexpected costs required to safely respond to COVID-19.

Haaland’s cornerstone Universal Childcare and Early Learning Act would provide millions of families with free, high-quality child care and early learning options and ensure that New Mexico families can affordably access these services.