JJ Feinauer's article brought attention to the difficulty that parents, regardless of income, have finding affordable child care ("Is investing in child care worth the high cost?" Aug. 22). A greater concern than cost, however, is the quality of the child care program.
In the U.S., despite high child care costs, most states have inadequate requirements for the quality of care. Currently, the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which provides funds to states to help make child care more affordable for approximately 1.7 million children, doesn't require that funds be used to pay for licensed care — which typically provides at least basic health and safety protections for children in child care.
According to an upcoming report from Child Care Aware of America, the cost of child care continues to increase while families struggle to afford quality care. Many families are priced out of licensed child care services and the health and safety of those children are at risk.
Over the coming weeks, the Senate will consider a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the CCDBG with improvements to health and safety measures. The Senate needs to hear about the importance of both the quality and the crushing cost of child care.
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