The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee on Wednesday approved S.1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) of 2013, the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance for families and funds child care quality initiatives. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and co-sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Lamar Alexander (R-TN), passed on a voice vote.
“The passage of this bill out of committee is a significant step forward for children and families across the country,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. “Working families deserve access to affordable, quality child care, regardless of income or location, which keeps their children safe, while promoting their healthy development.”
The measure would reauthorize CCDBG for the first time since 1996, but with significant changes to the quality measures included. The bill would require providers to undergo comprehensive background checks, receive orientation training and ongoing professional development, and be subject to initial and annual inspections.
“For parents to choose care effectively, they need quality information about who is providing good care and who is not. The transparency we incorporate in this law will go a long way toward making parents well-informed consumers of child care,” said Senator Burr.
A full Senate vote has not been scheduled.
To learn more about CCDBG reauthorization, including the current law, click here.