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Congress Sends Bi-Partisan Child Care Bill to President's Desk

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Today, the Senate voted to pass S.1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 led by Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Representatives John Kline (R-MN), George Miller (D-CA), Todd Rokita (R-IN), and David Loebsack (D-IA).

In September of this year the House approved the measure by a voice vote, sending the amended version of the bill the Senate originally passed 96-2 in March 2014.

"For over 15 years, reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant has been our top legislative priority," said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware of America. "Working families across the country rely on dependable, affordable, quality child care. This bill is a historic step toward ensuring children are in a safe child care setting, receiving care that promotes their healthy development."

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 in 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.

"Every working parent with children, no matter their income level, worries about child care. What's affordable? What's accessible? Will my child be safe? Where can I get the best care for my kid? The CCDBG program has given many families over many years peace of mind, but we can and should be doing more to improve child care for children, parents and providers alike," said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), one of the leaders and original sponsors of the legislation. "It is long past time to revitalize, refresh and reform this vitally important program."

Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), one of the authors and leading advocates of the bill, added "the reason that we're here is that what we proposed made common sense. We reached out to every group that was willing to engage us and I think the final draft, as evidenced with [Thursday's] vote and Monday's vote... has been embraced by every stakeholder around, but more importantly by every family whose got children who will be in the system."

Learn more about the Child Care and Development Block Grant.

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 (CCR &Rs) and other community partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit usa.childcareware.org. Follow us on Twitter @USAChildCare and on Facebook at facebook.com/usachildcare.

CONTACT: Judy Francis Communications & Marketing Associate Child Care Aware of America Phone: (703) 341-4159 news@usa.childcareaware.org

Source: Child Care Aware of America