Senate Panel Explores Need for Changes to Child Care Law


The quality and safety of child care was a key topic at a hearing held yesterday on Capitol Hill. A subcommittee in the U.S. Senate heard testimony on the need to update the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a federal law overdue for reauthorization that provides funding to states to subsidize child care costs for low-income families.  Advocacy groups for children and working parents have pressed for the next iteration of the law to focus on improving families’ access to quality programs.

The hearing was convened by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Subcommittee on Children and Families in the Senate’s Health, Labor, Education and Pensions (HELP) Committee. It was the second time this year that the committee had gathered to discuss the topic; a meeting in June also pushed for the need to make changes to the law. Although yesterday’s hearing was sparsely attended (Sen. Mikulski explained the absence of all but four senators, saying the president’s anticipated address to Congress last night meant the members were busy during the day), the witnesses offered insights from diverse professional backgrounds in early education.

Source: Early Ed Watch, New America Foundation

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