"Agencies have been allowed, under pilot projects during the last two years, to use existing appropriations to provide child care assistance to lower income federal employees," continued Harnage.
"AFGE has wholeheartedly taken up the opportunity to turn the pilot programs into a real-life, earned benefit for federal employees," noted Harnage. "AFGE Locals and Councils have negotiated innovative child care arrangements with the Department of Labor, the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the General Services Administration.
"As Senator Carnahan understands, her legislation isn't just good for federal employees--it's good for the federal government as well," remarked Harnage. "Agencies can use the child care assistance to recruit and retain the best possible employees. Moreover, by giving federal employees more certainty with respect to their child care arrangements, the program reduces absenteeism and increases productivity."
"Thanks to the last two years of pilot programs, the foundation for success has been put in place for all to see," concluded Harnage. "It is now time to make the program permanent--and Senator Carnahan is leading the way. We also appreciate the leadership of Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), a tireless champion of federal employees, who is a proud original cosponsor of Senator Carnahan's important legislation."