WASHINGTON, D.C. – Child Care Aware of America announced its support for S. 1086, the Child Care Development and Block Grant Act of 2013, introduced today in the U.S. Senate, which would better protect the health and improve safety of children in child care settings across America.
“This bill moves the nation forward ensuring children are safe and receiving the best early learning experiences while in child care,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., executive director of Child Care Aware of America. “Children’s early years are proven to be the most impactful time to create strong learners. This bill sets the standard all families expect for their children.”
The bi-partisan measure would reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance for families and funds child care quality initiatives. CCDBG was last reauthorized 13 years ago, in 1996.
Each week, nearly 11 million children under age 5 are in some type of child care setting for an average of 35 hours.
It is important that during these hours, children are in a safe environment that promotes their growth and development. Too many children remain in settings that do not meet minimum standards of health and safety.
The bill introduced today ensures that providers take necessary basic steps to protect children from an avoidable tragedy, including requiring comprehensive background checks based on fingerprints, new workforce training standards, early learning and development guidelines, and the development of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS).
Child Care Aware of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care, working with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to high quality, affordable child care.
The Child Care & Development Council of Oswego County, a member of Child Care Aware of America is also working towards these goals.
To learn more about Child Care Aware of America and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit us at www.usa.childcareaware.org