From Affordable Virginia, “a project of Family Friendly Virginia…a grassroots campaign urging Congresswoman Jen Kiggans to stop siding with corporations and the ultra-wealthy and start fighting for policies that will lower costs for working families in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.”
Affordable Virginia Releases New Ad Calling Out Rep. Jen Kiggans for Voting to Cut Child Care Funding
~ Part of a $1.8M accountability campaign calling out the Virginia Beach Congresswoman ~
Virginia Beach, VA – Affordable Virginia released a second television ad as part of a $1.8 million campaign across radio, TV, digital, and print media, calling out Rep. Jennifer Kiggans for voting to cut funding for critical child care resources and calling on her to oppose further cuts. The advocacy organization has also placed full-page ads in The Virginian-Pilot and The Daily Press, which will run on Wednesday. Kiggans represents Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, home to many of Virginia’s 127,000 active duty service members, with nearly 15% of residents being military veterans (more than twice the national average), and the ads emphasize the importance of affordable child care for veterans and their families.
“This is a significant investment in our ongoing efforts to ensure Congresswoman Kiggans hears our voices loud and clear,” said Affordable Virginia Organizing Director Joseph White. “We are not going to be silent. We are demanding Congresswoman Kiggans stop siding with corporations and the ultra-wealthy and stop voting for reckless cuts to essential support that working families rely on. We are encouraging Rep. Kiggans to support the Child Care Stabilization Act to lower child care costs for families across her district.”
The ad released today features Virginia Beach resident, navy veteran, military spouse, and working mother of five, Kassaundra. Kassaundra describes the challenges she and her husband faced trying to access child care, especially for their two-year-old who was recently diagnosed with autism. “For families like ours, child care is too expensive, and hardly anywhere is able to take my autistic son,” Kassaundra says in the ad. “But Congresswoman Jen Kiggans voted to hike child care costs, which would make it even harder for people like us.” The ad closes by encouraging constituents to ask Rep. Kiggans to support the Child Care Stabilization Act.
As a veteran and a military spouse, Kassaundra and her family are eligible for military child care programs and assistance but found waiting lists are so long and spots are so limited that they have not been able to get the assistance.
Kassaundra is referring to the Default on America Act and the September 2023 Continuing Resolution, both of which Kiggans voted for and included harmful cuts to child care funding. By contrast, the Child Care Stabilization Act would bolster funding for child care and reduce costs for families.
Default on America Act child care impacts:
- Gut funding for low-income students. According to a report from the White House, “The Default on America Act would cut approximately $70 million in funding for schools serving low-income children in Virginia— equivalent to removing nearly 1,100 teachers and specialized instructional support personnel from classrooms, impacting an estimated 330,000 students.”
- Cut support for students with disabilities. According to the White House, “Under the Default on America Act, as many as 173,000 children in Virginia with disabilities would face reduced supports—a cut in IDEA funding equivalent to removing approximately 1,200 teachers and related service providers from the classroom.”
- Eliminate 5,900 preschool and child care slots in Virginia. According to the White House, “The Default on America Act would mean 3,600 children in Virginia lose access to Head Start slots and 2,300 children lose access to child care—undermining our children’s education and making it more difficult for parents to join the workforce and contribute to our economy.”
September 2023 Continuing Resolution child care impacts:
- Cuts to Head Start programs could eliminate access for over 275,000 students, which would impact the nearly 14,000 slots allocated for eligible children across the Commonwealth.
- Cuts to Title I and IDEA funding could eliminate nearly 150,000 public school teachers and educational staff who work with low-income students and students with disabilities.
Child Care Stabilization Act child care impacts:
- Bolster funding for child care: The Child Care Stabilization Act would provide $16 billion in mandatory funding each year for the next five years to ensure working families are able to access affordable child care around the country. This funding would support more than 220,000 child care providers that serve a total or more than 10 million kids.
- According to the White House, $16 billion in funding for child care would be enormously beneficial for families in Virginia. The Commonwealth would receive $321 million in new funding for child care, which would benefit 4,980 providers and 317,600 children.
About Affordable Virginia
Affordable Virginia, a project of Family Friendly Virginia, is a grassroots campaign urging Congresswoman Jen Kiggans to stop siding with corporations and the ultra-wealthy and start fighting for policies that will lower costs for working families in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District.