Today the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, passed the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013 out of Committee. A lot has changed in the past two decades and it’s been 17 years since the last reauthorization. This legislation places emphasis on promoting policies that will contribute to the safety and healthy development of millions of children who benefit from the federal child care program. The bill will now go to the fullSenate for consideration.
Here’s what a few of the Senators said about the bill:
“As a mom and former preschool teacher, I know how import high-quality child care options are for parents, and this bill works to ensure the best possible care “I am especially glad this bill includes new provisions to help more homeless families access child care. I’m also pleased that this legislation authorizes a national toll-free hotline and website for families seeking safe, affordable, quality child care in their community.” - Sen. Patty Murray from WA
“This legislation meets the compelling needs of children.” - Sen. Barbara Mikulski from MD
“Access to quality child care can make all the difference in a child’s early years, and this program has helped nearly 30,000 Tennessee families not only afford to enroll their children in child care, but be able to choose the type of care that’s best for their family,” - Sen. Lamar Alexander from TN
“To quote a periodical I read about the bill, ‘This is an honest to goodness bipartisan bill'” - Sen. Richard Burr from NC
The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013 will:
- Raise the health and safety of child care settings.
- Require child care providers to undergo a comprehensive background check.
- Require child care programs to be inspected at least once every year to ensure they are safe and appropriate settings for children.
- Improve program quality, while simultaneously ensuring federal funds support low-income and at-risk children and families.
- Promote continuity of care to minimize disruption in children’s development.