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Letter to the Senate: Vote YES on S. 1086

February 28, 2014

Dear Senator:

On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association and the students they serve, we urge you to vote YES on the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act (S. 1086), which is likely to come to the Senate floor next week. Votes associated with this bill may be included in the NEA Legislative Report Card for the 113th Congress.

CCDBG helps low-income working families and parents transitioning from welfare to work find safe, supportive, caring environments for their children. It is impossible to have successful early childhood education without good childcare options. Moreover, quality childcare options help ensure that children enter school ready to learn. S.1086 incorporates lessons learned from research and the states, improving the likelihood that more children will enter school ready to succeed by:

  • Investing in the early childhood workforce. States would be required to set workforce competency standards for childcare providers — designed to promote the social, emotional, physical, and cognitive development of children — and offer a progression of professional development.
  • Focusing on early learning. States would be required to develop or implement research-based, developmentally appropriate early learning and developmental guidelines for children from birth through entry into kindergarten.
  • Ensuring the health and safety of children served by the program. States would be required to set 13 specific standards for childcare providers ranging from prevention of infectious disease to administration of medication to identification of and protection from hazards such as vehicular traffic and bodies of water.

S. 1086 is a good first step towards providing more comprehensive early learning opportunities for low-income children. We urge you to support it.

Sincerely,

Mary Kusler
Director, Government Relations