House Reviews Child Care Reauthorization

Last Tuesday, the House Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education of the Education and the Workforce Committee held a hearing on the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Subcomittee Chairman Todd Rokita (R-IN), opened the hearing with this statement, “While many of [the] provisions [in the Senate bill] will help to improve the quality of child care, we must also take steps to ensure these new requirements will help – not hinder – states in meeting the needs of children and their families…If we are truly here to fight for people, and to empower people so they can build better lives for themselves and their families, access to quality child care is something we must address.”

It is unclear where the House will go with the Senate bill. During the hearing there was criticism by some Republican members in regard to state flexibility. Congressman Rokita said that he looked forward to examining the strengths and weaknesses of the CCDBG program and discussing opportunities for consensus between House priorities for reauthorization and the Senate-passed legislation. However, the Chair of the full committee, Congressman John Kline (R-MN), said in a later interview that parts of the Senate-passed Child Care and Development Block Grant are “a little bit problematic,” but that it is on the radar of the committee.

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