January 03, 2011
NACCRRA Supports the National Association for Regulatory Administration’s Recommendations for Strengthening Child Care Licensing Regulations
Arlington, VA – January 3, 2011 –The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) strongly supports the National Association for Regulatory Administration’s (NARA) Call to Action forstronger federal child care licensing requirements. The Call to Action reflects key findings from a NARA-commissioned report, Strong Licensing: The Foundation for a Quality Early Care and Education System, which will be published in late January.
In its Call to Action, NARA makes recommendations for closing gaps in states’ child care licensing laws, basic health and safety requirements and enforcement practices. Most states do not have adequate training requirements for child care providers, do not conduct state and federal fingerprint background checks, and inspect child care facilities only once a year or less often.
Every week in this country, more than 11 million children are in some form of non-parental child care, yet many states fail to ensure even the most basic health and safety standards are enforced. NACCRRA’s national surveys demonstrate that parents expect and want their government to hold child care programs accountable. When asked, 94 percent of parents favor proposals that would require initial training for child care providers; 92 percent support requiring background checks; 88 percent favor requiring states to inspect programs at least annually and 88 percent favor requiring anyone who cares for unrelated children to be licensed.
“It is evident that with simple regulatory changes, the overall quality of care can be greatly improved and parents’ expectations can be met,” said Linda K. Smith, Executive Director of NACCRRA. “Parents want and expect more accountability. We fully support NARA in its efforts and look forward to working together to promote stronger licensing regulations and healthier learning environments.”
NARA recommends that the federal government: adopt common funding guidelines for state child care regulatory bodies; convene interest groups to evaluate states’ adherence to federal standards; request states to establish consistent child care licensing laws and regulations regardless of setting and funding base; request states to adjust their Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS) and incentives as regulatory thresholds are met; and allocate specific funding for states to perform comprehensive licensing at quality performance standards.
“NARA’s findingsdemonstrate the needfor greater collaboration at the federal level to ensure more inclusive state child care licensing policies that protect all children in care,” Smith said.
To read NARA’s complete Call to Action, please visit http://naralicensing.org.
NACCRRA, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, is our nation's leading voice for child care. We work with more than 800 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to high quality, affordable childcare. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about NACCRRA and how you can join us in ensuring access to high-quality child care for all families, visit us at www.naccrra.org.