Democrats’ Spending Bill Discriminates Against Faith-Based Providers
WASHINGTON, D.C., November 24, 2021
Democrats’ claims that religious providers can participate in H.R. 5376’s child care programs are FALSE. Repeating a lie doesn’t make it true. Child care provisions in Democrats’ so-called Build Back Better bill will push faith-based providers out of the market and severely limit parental choice.
Myth: Build Back Better funds are available to faith-based child care providers with no strings attached.
Fact: The federal government will have a major influence on curriculum as educational standards and quality rating systems must be approved by the Biden administration. In fact, H.R. 5376 specifically states that providers will have to agree to teach federally-determined standards and meet federally-dictated program requirements.
Myth: Child care dollars from the Build Back Better Act would count as indirect federal financial assistance to providers, just as under current child care policy.
Fact: Classifying certificates as direct assistance to providers overturns 30 years of bipartisan support for religious providers. The Democrats’ bill specifically states that “child care certificates shall be considered Federal financial assistance to the provider.” This is counter to current, longstanding rules under the Child Care and Development Block Grant in which these certificates are considered assistance to the parent and not the provider. This change will force faith-based providers to abandon their beliefs and mission since HHS regulations are abundantly clear that no funds considered direct financial assistance to a provider “shall be expended for any sectarian purpose or activity, including sectarian worship or instruction.” Fifty-three percent of the families that choose center based care, prefer faith-based care for their children.
Myth: Faith-based providers do not have to compromise or change their religious beliefs to receive Build Back Better funds.
Fact: Religious providers will not be able to access funds for facilities if they happen to run their program in a building that is used for any religious activity. While current law has made it clear that funds may be used to improve facilities for the health and safety of children, the Democrats have decided children in faith-based facilities don’t deserve the same protections.
Myth: Child care will be more affordable for all families.
Fact: Estimates show that the requirements under Build Back Better could double the cost of child care for families and force providers, including faith-based providers, out of business. When DC’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education examined a child care program nearly identical to what is in Build Back Better, it found child care costs could increase by “$6,335 to $12,175, depending on the quality and location.” Such increases will be debilitating to hard-working families who must have affordable care to continue to work. Simply put, the program is built on a budget gimmick to hide the true cost and intent of the program from taxpayers.
Bottom line: The Biden administration’s massive federal takeover of child care and pre-k is an attempt to nationalize education and fund an entirely new entitlement program. If faith-based providers want to participate in this program they will have to compromise their faith when it comes to hiring practices, curriculum choices, and maintaining separate sex specific facilities. By destroying parental choice and competition when it comes to child care providers, this bill will drastically decrease the standard of care for children. Ultimately this bill hurts the very children it claims to help.