By Tiana - James Beard Award-Winning Chef and Restaurateur

Most parents would probably be shocked to realize that there are no national standards for quality and safety in child care, only a hodgepodge of inconsistent state laws. Fortunately, the Senate is finally gearing up to consider reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which allocates funds to states for child care and assists states in improving the quality of child care.

The legislation has not been reauthorized in nearly 18 years, despite hard work by advocates to push much-needed reforms involving safety, inspections of centers, caregiver training, and quality rating systems. For example, the bipartisan Senate bill would require comprehensive background checks for child care providers who are receiving federal subsidies and require at least one annual unannounced inspection.

"This measure ensures working families have safe child care options — protecting both children and working parents," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said on the Senate floor last week. He said the bill offers "an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to find common ground and work together."

Please take two minutes to send an email to your Senator to express your support for this important legislation.

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