For working families all across this country, every day is a balancing act: child care, work, groceries, doctors’ appointments, night school… the list goes on. And at a time where 61% of Americans say they’re paying more for household items like gas and groceries, child care has become a financial stress for too many families.
House Republicans understand that stress – and are working toward a solution. Today, House Republicans voted to improve and modernize child care options for working families, creating millions of opportunities across the country through the bipartisan Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014.
Right now, over 1.5 million children under the age of 13 have access to child care through the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program. For years, working families have relied on this resource – yet the quality and efficiency of these programs has weakened through the years.
Through legislation passed today these programs will be strengthened to better serve the families that rely on this child care. The reforms will ensure that every child will have the necessary foundation for success and achievement in school and life.
Specifically, the Child Care and Development block Grant Act of 2014 will:
Make child care safer. By requiring all providers to comply with state health, safety, and fire standards, as well as annual facility inspections, parents will be more comfortable, knowing their child’s care facility is safe.
Enhance child development. This grant extends the program’s original goal of ensuring quality education through age-appropriate practices and education for all children – regardless of income, race, or location.
Give parents more choice. By giving parents more information on child care options (including faith-based and community-based providers), they are able to choose a child care program that works best for their family.
Ensures quality training and professional development. This agreement requires states to set the number of hours of training required for caregivers, so parents can be sure their children are receiving the highest quality education possible.
Establishes efficient funding. By giving funds directly to the states, good practices will be encouraged and funds will be better distributed based on the needs of the region. The grant also ensures funding for six years so as many families as possible are able to take advantage of this resource.
Parents have a lot on their plates – but children always remain their top priority. House Republicans understand and agree. By passing this grant, millions of children across the country will gain access to affordable, high-quality child care – creating a foundation that has the ability to change the trajectory of a child’s life. As this bill goes tot he President’s desk, today we celebrate a victory for working families in all corners of America.