CLASP Statement in Support of CCDBG Reauthorization
Washington, D.C.—With child care assistance such an essential work support for low-income parents who struggle to find and keep employment to provide for their families, the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) supports the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 (S. 1086), which the U.S. Senate will vote on this week. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which has bipartisan support, is unique among many federal programs in that its two-generation focus has the ability to support both parents’ economic success and children’s healthy development. CCDBG was last reauthorized nearly 20 years ago.
The CCDBG Act of 2014 is an important step forward for improving the health and safety of child care. It also would make crucial improvements to the program by allowing children to have more sustained access to child care assistance, which helps parents stay in their jobs and move up while also supporting children’s development by providing more continuity in their child care arrangement. The Act seeks to improve the quality of child care overall, with a particular focus on infants and toddlers. Quality infant-toddler child care is rare and particularly out of reach for low-income families. Given the robust body of research on the importance of the earliest years of life for children’s growth and success, CLASP supports this effort to improve the quality and availability of infant-toddler care.
We note that increasing resources for child care must also be a top Congressional priority. Our most recent analysis shows spending on child care assistance at a 10-year low. Insufficient federal funds have led states to make reductions in their child care programs, with the number of children served falling to a 14-year low. States will need additional resources to meet the goals of the legislation and to ensure that low-income families are able to retain access to this vital program. Expanding economic opportunity for low-income adults today and strengthening the foundation for their children’s success in school and in life must be important priorities for our nation.
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CLASP develops and advocates for policies at the federal, state, and local levels that improve the lives of low-income people. We focus on policies that strengthen families and create pathways to education and work. Through careful research and analysis and effective advocacy, we develop and promote new ideas, mobilize others, and directly assist governments and advocates to put in place successful strategies that deliver results that matter to people across America. For more information, visit www.clasp.org and follow @CLASP_DC