BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday passed a bill that could help child care centers hire more workers.
The bill would create grants, scholarships and loan forgiveness programs for people who want to become child care providers, and it would establish a tier for pay.
Lawmakers are recommending that pay for early education workers “be commensurate with public school teachers who are similarly credentialed.” Subsidized providers could also offer free or discounted seats for their staff’s children.
The bill would also expand programs that help parents pay for child care. A report from April found that some Massachusetts families areon child care.
Families who make just over $65,000 a year can currently get help paying for child care – that income eligibility level would increase to $164,000 over time.
“Unfortunately, high-quality early education remains out of reach for most Massachusetts families, and our providers struggle to keep their doors open,” Senate President Karen Spilka said. “This bill will address those issues and make our Commonwealth stronger by making early education more affordable, investing in our early educators, and ensuring the sustainability of our providers.”
The proposal now goes to the House.