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House Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Reform Child Care & Development Block Grant Program

House Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN) issued the following statements after the House passed as amended S. 1086, a bipartisan, bicameral agreement to reform and reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant program:
 
“The Child Care and Development Block Grant program is a vital lifeline for parents trying to build a better future for their families,” said Chairman Kline. “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. This bipartisan legislation will strengthen this important program to give working moms and dads greater access to quality, affordable child care. I want to thank my Republican and Democrat colleagues in the House and Senate for their work in crafting this legislation, and hope it will be sent to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”
 
“Today, I’m proud to reauthorize the Child Care Development Block Grant program with changes that strengthen parental choice, increase safety standards for providers, rein in an over-zealous federal government, and maintain the program’s essential purpose as work support with state flexibility,” said Rep. Todd Rokita.
 
The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act provides funds to states to help low-income families pay for child care while a parent works or is in an educational or job training program. The law has not been reauthorized since 1996. The bipartisan, bicameral agreement is based upon legislation introduced in 2013 by Senators Mikulski and Burr that passed the Senate earlier this year and includes reforms to:

• Enhance parental choice by providing information about available care options from all providers, including faith-based and community-based providers, and allowing parents to choose the child care provider that best suits their family’s needs.
   
• Strengthen safety in child care settings by requiring all providers to comply with state health, safety, and fire standards and undergo annual inspections.
   
• Promote high quality child care by reserving funds at the state level to improve the quality of care, enhancing states’ ability to train providers and develop safer and more effective child care services.
 
To learn more about the bill, click here.
 
To read letters of support, click here.