Press Releases

Senate Advances Bipartisan Bill to Significantly Improve Quality of Child Care Nationwide

March 12, 2014

ARLINGTON, Va., March 13, 2014-- The Senate voted today to pass S.1086, the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG) of 2014 by a vote of 96-2, the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance for families and funds child care quality initiatives. Child Care Aware® of America has pushed for CCDBG reauthorization for nearly two decades.

“By passing this bill, the Senate sent a strong message to working families that they deserve access to affordable, quality child care,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America. “We have advocated for the reauthorization of CCDBG for more than 18 years and this is the first time this long-expired piece of legislation has passed out of either chamber. Today, the Senate put children and families across the country first by passing this legislation.”

This bipartisan legislation is sponsored by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and co-sponsored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH).

The measure, if passed into law, would reauthorize CCDBG for the first time since 1996, but with significant changes to the quality measures included. The bill would ensure children are cared for by providers who undergo comprehensive background checks, receive training and ongoing professional development, and receive regular inspections.

"Every family in America with children is concerned about child care. They wonder if it's available. They wonder if it's affordable. They worry if it's safe. And they're also concerned if it helps their children be ready to learn,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), lead sponsor of the bill, during the Senate debate on Wed.  “These worries weigh heavily on the shoulders of parents everywhere. Our bill helps lift that burden – giving families and children the child care they need.  This bill, as I said, is the product of bipartisan effort.  Child care is something all families worry about regardless of zip code or income. This bill ensures that all children have the care that they need and deserve. What we did was focus on what these needs are. “

Learn more about why CCDBG is crucial for the safety of children.

See how your state spends child care dollars.

Learn more about CCDBG reauthorization, including the current law.

About Child Care Aware® of America
Child Care Aware® of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and community partners to help ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that strengthen the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake nationally recognized research, and advocate for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit