Good News for Early Childhood Care!

A 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.

Ready to choose a day care center? Watch for tips to help you choose the best one.

Photo of three children courtesy of Shutterstock.

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