Baldwin Stands up for Working Families, Supports Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCBDG) Act that Benefits 34,000 Wisconsin Kids Every Month

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin today voted to support reauthorization of the Child Care & Development Block Grant (CCBDG) Act, a federal grant program that provides child care subsidies for low-income and working families. This reauthorization was approved by the Senate HELP Committee, on which Baldwin sits, in September 2013. The bill passed the U.S. Senate today 88-1 and will now go to the President to be signed into law.

“In America, we know that a quality education and a fair shot at work is the strongest path to the middle class and economic security. I’m proud that today, we took an important bipartisan action to help create that path,” said Senator Baldwin. “For many families in this country, quality, affordable child care is a challenge that they struggle with every morning. Reauthorization of the Child Care & Development Block Grant Act provides support to working families across Wisconsin and America.”

The bipartisan CCDBG was first signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990 to assist working families with the cost of child care. It is the primary federal grant program providing child care assistance for low-income families and supporting child care quality initiatives. States use the grants to help low-income families gain access to child care and after school programs.

Today, many parents are in the workforce – including over 70 percent of mothers. Access to quality and affordable child care is essential in order for working families to secure and retain employment, particularly for low-income families.

In Wisconsin, the cost of child care for an infant is approximately 40 percent of a single mother’s median income. Two-parent families can expect to spend more than 10 percent of their income on child care. Further, in Wisconsin, nearly a third of children receiving CCDBG funding are under the age of three, making this a sound investment in those crucial early years of a child’s life. Currently, CCDBG benefits more than 34,000 Wisconsin children every month.

The bipartisan CCDBG Act of 2014 would reauthorize, reform, and revitalize the CCDBG program by placing a greater emphasis on quality child care programs and strengthen federal safety standards. Specifically, the legislation modifies existing law for several key areas including:

  • Requiring comprehensive background checks.
  • Strengthening health and safety standards.
  • Inspecting child care programs before issuing licenses.
  • Increasing awareness and transparency for families.
  • Promoting continuity and stability of care for children and their families.
  • Improving program quality through emphasis of prioritizing access to high quality care.

For more information on the Child Care & Development Block Grant Act of 2014, click here.