ARLINGTON, VA -- Janet Singerman, President of Child Care Resources Inc. (CCRI) in Charlotte, N.C., testified before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Subcommittee on Children & Families today, urging lawmakers to strengthen the quality of child care across the nation. The subcommittee heard from five witnesses who discussed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the law that allocates funds to states for child care and reviewed ways to improve the quality of child care for working families.
“CCDBG has not been reauthorized in 16 years,” Singerman told the committee. “Child care is an early learning setting. It’s time to support and strengthen these settings to ensure that families can access safe and quality programs that promote their children’s healthy development and learning.”
The Subcommittee is led by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).
Singerman was invited to testify about North Carolina’s early care and education system, the role of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs), and the state’s efforts to improve the quality of child care for all children, and particularly, those from low income families.
Nearly 11 million children under age 5 in the United States are in some type of child care arrangement every week. On average, the children of working mothers spend 35 hours a week in child care.
Singerman told the panel that North Carolina’s child care quality rating system, resource and referral system, Smart Start, and state pre-k program are all part of the state’s strategy to ensure that all children, including those whose families receive a subsidy to help cover the cost of child care, are able to access quality programs. “If we are serious as a nation about reducing the achievement gap, improving student performance and increasing graduation rates, we must further strengthen the quality, accessibility and affordability of child care.”
Child Care Resources Inc. works with families and communities across the central Carolinas to ensure that children have access to high quality, affordable early learning and school-age experiences and opportunities that enable them to succeed in school and in life. Based in Mecklenburg County, CCRI also serves Cabarrus, Rowan, Stanly and Union counties and co-manages North Carolina’s regional statewide child care resource and referral system.
More than 600 resource and referral agencies throughout the country, including more than 70 R&Rs in North Carolina, offer a variety of services to assist families, child care providers and business and community stakeholders. They assist families by providing referrals to accessible, affordable, quality child care programs, providing training and technical assistance to strengthen the quality of the early childhood workforce as well as the programs in which they work, support community development by collecting, analyzing and reporting on child care supply and demand, and engage community partners in supporting child care programs.
Singerman has been in the child care resource and referral field since 1983. She worked for the Maryland Committee for Children (MCC) in Baltimore, Md., for 14 years prior to joining Child Care Resources Inc. (CCRI) as president in 1997. Singerman served as president of the board of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) from 2004-2006.
Child Care Aware® of America (formerly NACCRRA, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies), is our nation's leading voice for child care. We work with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. 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 Child Care Aware® of America and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit us at www.naccrra.org.