Press Release

Rep. Cuellar Hosts San Antonio Labor Leaders to Announce Bill Establishing Childcare Stipends for Union Apprenticeships

The Apprentice-Related Childcare Act would establish a childcare stipend pilot program available to Americans enrolled in Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeship programs

San Antonio | Tony Wen, Press Secretary (202-856-8750), December 16, 2023

Today, U.S. Congressman Henry Cuellar, Ph.D. (TX-28) hosted San Antonio labor leaders to announce the Apprentice-Related Childcare (ARCC) Act for union apprenticeships. The ARCC Act would establish a childcare stipend pilot program available to Americans enrolled in Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeship programs. The event was held at the South Texas Electrical JATC, a state-of-the-art workforce training facility in San Antonio.

“In South Texas, childcare is often a barrier to entry for apprenticeships. The ARCC Act will help aspiring apprentices manage their family obligations and empower them to complete their training programs. This will help working families achieve their American Dream,” said Dr. Cuellar. “In Congress, I will continue to fight for South Texas workers. I thank my friends at the South Texas Electrical JATC, San Antonio Building Trades Council, IBEW Local 60, and Southwest Laborers District Council (LiUNA) for joining me today to announce this bill.”

Authorized at $200 million over Fiscal Years 2024 and 2025, the ARCC Act directs the U.S. Department of Labor to establish a competitive grant program, awarding grants to ten geographically diverse states for the purposes of administering childcare stipends to American workers enrolled in Registered Apprenticeships and Pre-Apprenticeship programs.

Stipends are paid directly to childcare providers serving apprentices and must be at least $500 per month, per dependent child. When administering childcare stipends, states must include groups that are historically underrepresented in apprenticeships, including women and people of color. At the conclusion of the pilot program, DOL must report to Congress on the impact of these stipends, including any effect on persistence and completion rates. The stipends are not subject to income tax and not counted toward eligibility for public benefit programs.

The legislation is endorsed by North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), Laborers’ International Union of North America (LiUNA), International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers (SMART), United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America (UBC), United Association of Union Plumbers & Pipefitters (UA), International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT), Operative Plasterers’ and Cement Masons’ International Association (OPCMIA), International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers (Insulators), and Third Way.

Dr. Cuellar is a strong supporter of American workers.

  • He is an original cosponsor of the Tax Fairness for Workers Act and the No Tax Breaks for Union Busting Act – bills that would make the tax deduction for union dues above-the-line and end the taxpayer subsidization of business anti-union activity.
  • As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, he helped secure the first increase in funding for the National Labor Relations Board since 2014 in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 spending agreement.
  • He secured a $1.3 million earmark in the FY 2024 House appropriations bill for the City of San Antonio’s “Ready to Work Initiative” to enhance apprenticeship opportunities.

For more information on the ARCC Act, click here.