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TN Senator wants to add child care options for state employees

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    NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) — A Tennessee senator wants to see child care options for those who work for the state.

Sen. Sara Kyle’s bill would authorize state agencies to provide those child care services for children of state employees.

Sen. Raumesh Akbari, D-Nashville, said much of Tennessee is a “childcare desert” when it comes to easy access and affordability to daycare.

She said the bill proposed by Kyle, D-Memphis, would address some of that and allow people to stay in the workforce.

“It will allow state agencies to be able to open child care centers near their facilities if they so choose,” said Akbari. “It’s really important because a lot of the time if you cannot get quality, affordable childcare, it takes you out of the workforce. Parents are having to stay home because there is not an affordable childcare option anywhere nearby. Literally, it’s a childcare desert.”

Akbari said the bill would allow more parents to stay in the workforce.

“Places that have childcare centers, their workers are more productive. When you have a child care center at your job or near your job, it’s not a transportation issue, it’s not a timing issue, and also if there is ever an emergency, you’re right there. I mean it’s a really cool thing,” said Akbari.

The bill has been on the table before. Akbari said the hope is to get it passed this legislative session.

“Sometimes really good policy takes a long time to pass,” said Akbari. “It might not have worked last year, but we’re going to keep going with it and try until we get it passed. It’s really important for working families.”

The childcare services would not be free. The fee would be based on the state employee’s household income.

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