S. 1086, Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014

S. 1086

Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014

Sponsor
Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski

Date
September 15, 2014 (113th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Monday, September 15, 2014, the House will consider S. 1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, as amended, under a suspension of the rules. S. 1086 was introduced on June 3, 2013 by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and passed in the Senate by a vote of 96-2.[1]  S. 1086 was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce.

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[1] http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=113&session=2&vote=00077

Bill Summary

 S.1086 reauthorizes the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG) through fiscal year 2020. This legislation makes significant improvements to the program, including: 1) extending the program’s original intent by supporting low-income working families while ensuring their children are in a setting that will keep them safe and encourage healthy development; 2) enhancing parental choice by providing information about available care options from all providers, including faith-based and community-based providers, and allowing parents to choose the child care provider that best suits their family’s needs; 3) strengthening safety in child care settings by requiring all providers  to comply with state health, safety, and fire standards and undergo annual inspections; 4) promoting high quality child care by reserving funds at the state level to improve the quality of care provided to children, enhancing states’ ability to train providers and develop safer and more effective child care services; and 5) reinforcing a prohibition on the administration’s ability to direct, or place conditions on, states’ adoption of standards around early learning guidelines and child-to-provider ratios, in addition to limiting his or her authority to collect extraneous data.

Background

The current system of child care assistance is currently supported by Federal, State, and local funds, and is “largely a result of Federal legislative activity over the last 25 years.”[2]  In 1988, Congress passed the Family Support Act, which for the first time provided families on welfare access to a childcare entitlement.[3]  In 1990, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and the Title IV-A At Risk Child Care program were created.  The CCDBG, which was designed “to improve the quality of child care,” was allocated by the Federal government in the form of block grants to States, not individual entitlements.[4]  “The CCDBG provides subsidies to assist low-income families in obtaining child care so that parents can work or participate in education or [job] training activities.”[5]  In 1996, four Federal child care programs (including the CCDBG) were combined under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA).[6]  The PRWORA “eliminated the entitlement to child care assistance for parents receiving welfare and for those transitioning from welfare to work.”[7]  These programs were also combined into one funding stream. The 2014 appropriation for the CCDBG is approximately $2.4 billion.

The Child Care and Development Fund, which encompasses the CCDBG program, also includes a mandatory component (the Child Care Entitlement to the States) equal to $2.9 billion each year, which follows the guidelines set by CCDBG. The mandatory money for the Child Care Entitlement to the States is under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means and is reauthorized separately from CCDBG.

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[2] Senate Report 113-138, at 2.
[3] See id.
[4] See id.
[5] Karen E. Lynch, “The Child Care and Development Block Grant: Background and Funding,” Congressional Research Service (Sep. 27, 2012) at 1.
[6] Senate Report 113-138, at 2.
[7] See id.

Cost

The Senate- passed version of S. 1086 authorized appropriations at “such sums” over the 2015-2019 period. CBO scored the Senate-passed bill at $13.1 billion over the 2015-2019 period, assuming appropriations of that amount.

The amendment in the nature of a substitute to S. 1086, however, authorizes appropriations at $12.7 billion over the 2015-2019 period (and, overall, $15.4 billion over the 2015-2020 period).

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.