The president has proposed a comprehensive early learning strategy to promote safe, quality settings to foster healthy child development for young children from birth through preschool-age. For many of the 11 million children under age 5, child care is their early learning setting. Yet, studies have shown that state child-care policies are weak - in fact, most states earn a failing grade on basic protections such as health and safety.
Fixing child care should be the cornerstone to any early learning vision for America. Parents need child care in order to work and a strong economy depends on working parents. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the federal law that allocates funds to states for child care and sets the framework for state child care laws, has not been reauthorized in 17 years.
As Congress considers any early learning strategy this year, fixing child care needs to be the cornerstone. Safe, quality child care is an economic development strategy for every community.