At least in recent years, Congress is usually where educational improvements go to die. But last month, the Senate passed a reauthorization bill for the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Senators sent the bill over to the House, where Education and Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) held a hearing. But what happens next remains to be seen.
This week, I published an op-ed in The Hill urging House Republicans to give the bill a second look. I listed four reasons the members might find the child care law among the most compelling education bills that will cross their desks, and urged them to work with the Senate to pass the law’s first reauthorization in nearly two decades. The first reason members of the House should pay attention?
Working Parents Need Child Care: Child care is unaffordable for most everyone–but it’s prohibitively expensive for the low-income parents who need access to care to be able to work. It can cost more than a year of tuition and fees at a public four-year college, according to a 2013 report from Child Care Aware® of America. CCDBG is designed to get parents back in the workplace. It was re-established as part of the welfare reform package Congress passed in 1996, based on work, not welfare, status. And its focus hasn’t changed: Fully 93 percent of families using child care subsidies today do so because they are either in education and training programs or employed. Without the support of CCDBG vouchers, the economic productivity of the nearly 904,000 families served by the program would be lost.
Click over to The Hill to check out the full piece.
[Cross-posted at Ed Central]