Where we Stand
  • It's been 17 years since Congress has reauthorized CCDBG. Based on state performance and lax accountability for federal funds, it’s time to strengthen minimum protections for children.
  • Require states to conduct comprehensive background checks on all paid child care providers who regularly care for unrelated children.
  • Require all paid child care providers who care for unrelated children on a regular basis to complete 40 hours of initial training (primarily CPR and other basic safety and health training in addition to child development) as well as 24 hours of annual training.
  • Require regular unannounced inspections of licensed providers – at least once a year and post the results on the internet so that parents can be educated consumers.
Issue Background

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance for families and funds child care quality initiatives. CCDBG is administered to states in formula block grants. States use the grants to subsidize child care for working families earning low incomes. Most of this assistance is administered through vouchers or certificates, which can be used by parents for the provider or program of their choice. In addition, the law requires no less than 4 percent of CCDBG funding in each state to be used for activities to improve the overall quality of child care for all children within a community (for example, Child Care Resource & Referral services, training for child care providers, infant and toddler specialists, quality rating systems, etc.).

Over 20 years ago, Department of Defense (DoD) child care was not accountable, quality was poor, and the safety of children was compromised. Congress passed the Military Child Care Act in 1989 to ensure that funds would be spent in an accountable manner, that care would be of minimum quality, and that child care would be provided in an affordable manner for families. Child Care Aware® of America calls on Congress to use the lessons of the military to reauthorize and strengthen CCDBG so that civilian families have access to affordable, quality child care in all communities. Congress should also ensure that funding is sufficient so that eligible children are able to receive assistance.

CCDBG Reauthorization Bill Introduced!
Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced S. 1086, “The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013,” a bill to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) for the first time in over 17 years. Now is the time to get involved.

Dive Deeper
Issue News
OPINION: Susan Nielsen: Oregon families squeezed by rising child care costs, falling wages Nov 11, 2013 - The Oregonian Nov. 09--Paying for college isn't the most daunting challenge facing Oregon parents. It's paying for child care, which has quietly grown more costly than college.