Letter to the House in connection with March 25 hearing on the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program
March 24, 2014
On behalf of the three million members of the National Education Association and the students they serve, we would like to offer our views in advance of the March 25 hearing, “The Foundation for Success: Strengthening the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program.”
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program 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.
The version of reauthorization passed by the Senate (S. 1086) is a good first step towards providing more comprehensive early learning opportunities for low-income children. It 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.
We thank the Committee for holding a hearing on this critical legislation and for the opportunity to submit these views. We look forward to working with the Committee going forward.
Director, Government Relations