Auburn woman attends Biden’s State of the Union with Sen. Murray

Feb 8, 2023, 5:25 PM | Updated: Feb 9, 2023, 11:06 am
state of the union...
(Photo from Flickr @PattyMurray)
(Photo from Flickr @PattyMurray)

Washington Senator Patty Murray’s guest at Tuesday’s State of the Union Address is an Auburn attorney helping the senator advocate for more childcare at more affordable prices.

Angélica Maria Gonzalez said childcare left her so broke, she became homeless for a stretch of time.

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“When some families cannot access child care, we’re talking about having to leave a job, not being able to put food on the table — really serious consequences,” Gonzalez said. “So parents are seriously struggling, and I’ve experienced firsthand what not being able to find and afford childcare has meant for my own family.”

Gonzalez also said she had to take out a loan to pay for childcare just so she could finish college.

Senator Murray said one in four parents report being forced to leave a job because they couldn’t find or afford the child care they needed.

According to the National Database of Childcare Prices, childcare prices for a single child ranged from $4,810 for school-age home-based care in small counties to $15,417 for infant center-based care in very large counties.

“I feel like it’s a normalized thing, but we’re not really looking at this like its a broken system,” Gonzalez said. “I’ve had to turn down amazing positions that could have changed my family’s lives, but I had to turn down those positions because I couldn’t find childcare.”

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Senator Murray introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA) to Congress on multiple occasions, and in 2021, the legislation became the basis for President Biden’s childcare plan and a top priority for the Biden administration.

“We have a childcare crisis in America. All across my state—and our country—parents like my guest to the State of the Union, Angélica, are stressed trying to figure out how on Earth they will find a childcare opening and how they will afford it if they can ever get off a waitlist,” said Senator Murray.

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Auburn woman attends Biden’s State of the Union with Sen. Murray