Statement from Ann O’Leary: Child Care Development Block Grant Authorization
Amid the growing sense of stalled progress in our nation’s capital, a rare bipartisan effort this week resulted in the successful passage and signing of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG). Last reauthorized in 1996, the bill will provide more than $15 billion over five years for child care programs across the country. The funds will be granted directly to states to subsidize child care programs, and represents one of the federal government’s largest investments in children.
There is a critical need for child care in this country, particularly as growing numbers of dual-earner and single-parent households become the norm in America. According to recent data, 1.7 million children benefit from a subsidy funded by the Child Care Development Block Grant.
The CCDBG will help improve the quality of subsidized child care, as well as improve access and affordability for families across the country. It will also help ensure that families won’t immediately lose their child care benefits because of small increases in their income, and will enhance health and safety standards at child care facilities. And importantly, the funds will go to families with low-incomes – those who need the peace of mind of stable, quality child care so that they can earn a living and secure their family’s future.
In short, this program keeps our children safe and our economy strong.
This victory for children and their families is warmly welcome, especially as we prepare to come together with our families next week to share thanks and reflect on all that we are fortunate to enjoy. I applaud the leaders in the Congress and the White House for working together on this critical and fundamental issue.