The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to reauthorize the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program including provisions Congresswoman Katherine Clark introduced earlier this year. Clarkâ€™s bill, the Infant and Toddler Care Improvement Act, enhances CCDBG by providing strategies and best practices for improving the quality of infant and toddler care. Research shows that at the earliest stage of a childâ€™s development, quality care is critical for the development of cognitive and behavioral skills. The Infant and Toddler Care Improvement Act was Clarkâ€™s first bill introduced in the U.S. House.
Â â€œAs a mom of three school age boys, I understand that parents want nothing more than to ensure that their kids are happy, learning and healthy,â€ said Clark. â€œMillions of moms and dads across the country, however, are faced with impossible choices because of the lack of access to quality care. Without a doubt, the cost of quality childcare is one of the biggest barriers to success women in the workforce face. The CCDBG program and the quality care provisions of the Infant and Toddler Care Improvement Act offer a vital lifeline and a path to the middle class for millions of families across the nation.
Â The Child Care Development Block Grant program is a federal program that provides child care subsidy grants for states to assist low and moderate income families with the costs of child care. In the nearly 20 years since CCDBG was last reauthorized, childhood education and child care programs have adapted to research on child development. This 2014 bill reflects modern advancements and helps low income families pay for child care so they can return to work or school.