18-year Advocacy Campaign Reaches Milestone; U.S. Senate to Consider Child Care and Development Block Grant Bill

ARLINGTON, Va., March 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Senate will begin debate on S.1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) of 2014, the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance for families and funds child care quality initiatives. Child Care Aware® of America has pushed for this bill for nearly two decades.

"This is a monumental step for families," said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. "We have advocated for the reauthorization of CCDBG for more than 18 years and this is the first time this long-expired piece of legislation will be debated on the Senate floor. This action sends a strong message to working families that they deserve access to affordable, quality child care."

This bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and co-sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

The measure, if passed into law, would reauthorize CCDBG for the first time since 1996, but with significant changes to the quality measures included. The bill would ensure children are cared for by providers who undergo comprehensive background checks, receive training and ongoing professional development, and receive regular inspections.

Learn more about why CCDBG is crucial for the safety of children.

"It is not enough to simply ensure that kids have someplace to go," said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), a primary sponsor of the bill. "We must also ensure that they go someplace that is safe, that nurtures their development … and that prepares them for school."

See how your state spends child care dollars.

S.1086 was passed out of committee by unanimous consent via a voice vote from the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee last September.

Learn more about CCDBG reauthorization, including the current law.

About Child Care Aware® of America

Child Care Aware® of America is our nation's leading voice for child care. We work with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and community partners to help ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that strengthen the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake nationally recognized research, and advocate for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit usa.childcareaware.org.


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