Critical early childhood funding signed into law
November 19, 2014
On Nov. 17, Congress passed the final legislation to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Two days later the President signed this bipartisan bill. This federal law provides for child care assistance to low-income working families and provides resources for the states to improve the quality of child care.
This block grant, first passed in 1990, was reauthorized in 1996. Since then—no changes have been made to the bill, despite the fact that the American landscape has changed significantly. Most children in America, including infants, now have mothers who work outside the home and who need safe, affordable child care. The Senate first passed S.1086, the reauthorization and revision of the CCDBG in March 2014, and the House passed its version in September. Monday’s action marks the Senate’s approval of the House-passed bill.
Bipartisan Senate support was led by Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Richard Burr (R-N.C.). Leaders in the House included John Kline (R-Minn.), George Miller (D-Calif.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), and David Loebsack (D-Iowa).
S.1086 includes measures to:
- Promote quality child care by increasing state-level investments in activities to improve the quality of care, enhancing states’ ability to train providers and develop safer and more effective child care services.
- Strengthen health and safety requirements for child care programs and providers.
- Improve access to child care by expanding eligibility for participating families and helping families connect with quality programs that meet their needs.