House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks about the Build Back Better legislation

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) talks to reporters during her weekly news conference in the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on Nov. 18, 2021 in Washington, DC. Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.

While home care is cheering the inclusion of money for home- and community-based services, the Build Back Better legislation recently passed by the House also offers significant funding for direct care worker training. That is according to the National Association for Home Care & Hospice Report released last week.

Specifically, the bill offers $400 million a year for fiscal years 2023­–2026  for a grant-based program that would ­bolster frontline caregivers’ access to economic and educational supports, the report said. These grants would go to states and territories for items such as worker wage subsidies, student loan repayment or tuition assistance, and childcare.

The legislation also includes $1 billion over 10 years for a separate program to support the direct-care workforce through three-year grants administered by the Department of Labor. These grants could be used to invest in strategies to recruit, retain and advance the direct care workforce.

And the bill offers $20 million to fund a national technical assistance center through the Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration for Community Living. The organization would develop and disseminate evidence-based strategies for, among other areas, recruitment, education and training.

Other workforce investments

Beyond frontline caregiver training, the bill has special funds devoted to hospice and palliative care training and support. It sets aside $90 million for investments to train, educate and bolster the hospice and palliative care provider workforce.

It also allocates $400 million for the Health Profession Opportunity Grant program, which awards grants to organizations to provide education and training to low-income individuals for healthcare occupations that are expected to be in high demand.

Paid family and medical leave

And starting in January 2024, under the bill, all workers would be eligible for up to four weeks of paid leave for new parents, workers dealing with serious medical conditions and those who need to care for loved ones with serious medical issues.