More Information on Administration’s Plans for CCDBG Reauthorization Emerge
Feb 03, 2010
The release of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) Congressional Justification for the President's FY 2011 budget request provides details on ACF's priorities for moving forward with reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). ACF lists the following principles for reauthorization:
- Serving more low-income children in safe, healthy, nurturing child care settings that are highly effective in promoting learning, child development, and school readiness.
- Supporting parent employment and expanding high quality choices available to parents across the range of child care settings.
- Minimizing the disruptions to children's development and learning by promoting continuity of care.
- Strengthening accountability in the CCDF program.
- Improving coordination of federal early care and education programs through alignment of program goals and priorities.
The language continues to say that the Administration is committed to a reauthorized law that is focused on improving the quality of child care and increasing the quality set-aside. The Administration will work with Congress to create a bill that promotes health and safety standards and increased monitoring of child care; high standards of quality across settings; effective professional development opportunities; coordination across early childhood programs; the promotion of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS), and an expanded supply of child care for underserved populations, including rural communities, infants and toddlers, and children with special needs.
As part of this focus on quality, and the administration's focus on strengthening program evaluation, the administration is initiating a five-year study to evaluate the influence of child care program features on child outcomes. The study will investigate what specific program features influence child outcomes for particular children, families and communities and provide a deeper understanding of how children's exposure to child care of differing levels of quality affects child outcomes.
The president requested a total of $1.6 billion in additional funds for CCDBG, of which $800 million is mandatory and will require Congress to reauthorize the law. The administration's principles for reauthorization are in line with the early childhood field's vision for the future of child care. Congress should join the administration and child care advocates to make improvements to CCDBG that improve the quality of child care for all families and low-income working families' access to such settings.