Improve Child Care For All Kids

Child care often costs as much as college tuition, and 87 percent of Parents readers who use child care told us that finding affordable quality care is either a challenge, very hard, or simply impossible. The facts in our recent article, “The Child Care Crisis,” are eye-opening.

Although we’ve heard a lot about our “do-nothing Congress,” watching this video of a Senate subcommittee hearing about child care gave me some hope. The Chairwoman, Democrat Barbara Mikulksi, and the ranking Republican, Richard Burr, had nothing but kind words for each other. They both said that it was time to make improvements to the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the legislation that authorizes Federal subsidies to states for child care, which hasn’t been updated since 1996. “It is absolutely crucial that we make a national commitment that safe and quality child care is available everywhere,” Senator Burr insisted.

After all, no matter what party you’re in, children should be a priority. As Jeb Hensarling, chairman of the House Republican Conference, said recently: “The worst time to work together on a bipartisan basis is right before an election. The best time to work on a bipartisan basis is right after an election.”

Parents is partnering with Child Care Aware of America on a letter-writing campaign to advocate for new standards like these that will protect children at child-care centers and in family day-care homes:

  • Comprehensive background checks for all caregivers
  • At least 40 hours of initial training and 24 hours of annual training for caregivers in health/safety and child development
  • At least one unannounced inspection per year
  • Required state license for all centers and day-care homes of any size
  • Results of inspections and violations posted online
  • Quality rating systems for centers and homes in every state
  • An increase in the percentage of federal funds reserved for quality improvement

Please click here to send a letter to your members of Congress!

Photo courtesy of Child Care Aware of America

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