The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) honored U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd at its National Policy Symposium held March 9-13, 2010, in Washington, D.C. Senator Dodd was honored for his lifelong commitment to quality child care and improving the lives of families and children.
Throughout his 35-year career in the United States Congress, Senator Dodd has worked diligently to protect the rights, well-being and health of children. In 1983, Dodd, along with Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) formed the first Children’s Caucus. He spent eight years fighting to enact the Family and Medical Leave Act, which has helped ensure that 50 million Americans do not have to choose between their job and their family. He also worked to enact the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, which today provides child care for more than 1.5 million families who might otherwise have been forced to quit their jobs or place their children in unsafe child care settings.
“As much progress as we have made in the last several decades, I know that the fight to secure quality, affordable child care is not over,” said Senator Dodd during his acceptance speech. “Even as the cost of child care goes up, the recession is putting a bigger pinch on family budgets. And it is making it even more important for parents to be able to work longer hours, making child care all the more important. I’ll continue to fight to make sure that no parent has to choose between a job and a child.”
NACCRRA also honored KCET, the PBS television station in Los Angeles, California, and Kaplan Early Learning Company by awarding the two organizations its Child Care Champion Award. KCET earned the honor for its award winning child care series, A Place of Our Own and Los Niños en Su Casa, which empowers child care providers to fulfill their roles as children’s first teachers. Kaplan Early Learning Company was awarded the honor for its continued commitment to providing products, services and resources for child care providers, early childhood educators and parents that enhance children’s learning.
“NACCRRA is proud to honor individuals and organizations like Senator Dodd, KCET and Kaplan Early Learning Company for their work on behalf of children,” said Linda K. Smith, Executive Director of NACCRRA. “Their efforts have helped to improve the early learning experiences for millions of children and their continued work will help shape the future of child care for our nation.”