Posts Tagged ‘ child care centers ’

Good News for Early Childhood Care!

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 Passes in the HouseA bill that will help to make early childhood care safer and more affordable for low-income families passed in the U.S. House on Monday, Politico reports.

The bill, known as the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG) will require certification to guarantee that health and safety standards are being followed and includes policies like:

  • improved background checks for care providers
  • training for care providers in first-aid and CPR
  • using safe sleeping practices to prevent sudden infant death syndrome
  • training care providers on working with children with disabilities

While these are practices we would hope that a daycare center is already enacting, this law will require state certification and annual inspections, among other qualifications. The CCDBG was originally created 24 years ago and has only been updated once since then, in 1996, according to the Children’s Defense Fund. Re-introduced to Congress in 2013, it was passed by both Republican and Democrat supporters in the Senate in March in a 96-2 vote. An amended version of this bill passed on Monday in the House and next up, the Senate will vote again. If it passes it will go on to President Obama for his approval, according to ChildCare Aware.

This bill also seeks to make this care more affordable. The Children’s Defense Fund reports that the annual price tag on early childhood care for young children and infants costs more than attending in-state public college in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

“Whether going to work or school, a lot of parents have to decide who will care for their children and worry if they’ve made the right decision,” House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) said in a statement. “This bipartisan legislation will strengthen this important program to give working moms and dads greater access to quality, affordable child care.”

Are you thinking about putting your child in daycare? Make sure to ask these questions before you commit.

Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Day Care Center
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Day Care Center
Child Care: Tips for Choosing a Good Day Care Center

Photo of three children courtesy of Shutterstock.

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Early Childhood Education Safety Bill Reauthorized by U.S. Senate

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

A law that mandates safety measures for early childhood education centers including background checks for caregivers, annual inspections, CPR training requirements, safe sleep practices, and more has been reauthorized by the U.S. Senate as the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (CCDBG). The legislation, which will coordinate federal and state funding for early childhood education programs, was supported by Senators from both major political parties.

“Early childhood education is essential to a child’s future,” U.S. Senator Michael Bennet (D-Co.) told the Colorado Springs Gazette, “Early learning programs are proven to increase kindergarten readiness and to provide students with the early skills they need to succeed later in school and in life. ”

North Carolina Republican Senator Richard Burr voiced his pleasure that the bill ensures that early childhood education funds, which help an estimated 1.5 million low-income children have access to early education, wind up at programs that meet consistent and high standards for safety and efficacy.

“CCDBG is a welfare reform success story that encourages personal responsibility,” Burr said in The Ripon Advance. “The transparency we incorporate in this law will go a long way toward making parents well-informed consumers of childcare and improve the safety of the programs. It is of particular importance to me that federal dollars will no longer go to childcare providers who have been convicted of violent crimes. CCDBG also places an emphasis on improving the quality of our childcare facilities over the next several years. This is not another Washington entitlement but an investment in the self-sufficiency of some of our hardest working families.”

Access to early education programs is on the rise across the country, even in states that had previously objected to the idea that every child should have a preschool education.

Image: Colored pencils, via Shutterstock

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Child Care Costs More than College in Many States

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

The cost of center-based child care exceeds the cost of tuition at state colleges in a number of states, due as much to rising child care costs as to slightly declining state college tuitions.  More from CNN Money:

Last year, average center-based child care costs rose by nearly 3% nationwide, according to a report from the nonprofit Child Care Aware of America. Full-time care for an infant ranged from a high of $16,430 a year in Massachusetts to $4,863 in Mississippi. Meanwhile, center-based care for a four-year-old hit a high of $12,355 in Massachusetts and a low of $4,312 in Mississippi.

Why such huge price disparities? Blame it on differences in labor costs, state regulations and cost of living expenses, such as housing, food and utilities.

For example, Massachusetts has strict child care regulations that require one teacher for every three infants, compared to one teacher per five infants in Mississippi. Meanwhile, child care centers in New York City, among one of the most expensive places for child care in the country, pay significantly higher rents and also must meet strict state standards.

“In order to meet those (standards), it costs money,” said Jessica Klos Shapiro, public policy and communications coordinator at the nonprofit Early Care & Learning Council, which advocates for families across New York state.

The centers are also grappling with ballooning operational costs, ranging from rising insurance costs to higher food prices, said Lynette Fraga, Child Care Aware’s executive director.

As a result, child care costs grew by as much as eight times the rate of family incomes last year, the report said. And they continue to take a major chunk out of family budgets, often representing a household’s largest monthly expense.

Find out if your child’s development is on track with our handy growth charts. Then, check out the 10 BEST apps for preschoolers.
Image: Kids at day care, via Shutterstock

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