Sen. Burr Takes Steps to Better Protect Children at Military Child Care Facilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) introduced the Military Child Care Protection Act of 2016. The bipartisan bill would improve standards for child care centers on military bases by bringing them in line with the standards for other child care centers that receive federal dollars.

"This is a common sense proposal," Senator Burr said. "Parents deserve the peace of mind that they are leaving their children in good hands when they drop them off at a military child care facility. No parent should have to worry that they are leaving their child with a violent felon. I'm pleased Sen. Boxer is working with me on this bill, and I look forward to its next steps."

Senator Burr has been a consistent advocate for improving child care standards. He was a sponsor of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 which put into law the highest standards for criminal background checks of employers receiving federal child care dollars. 

Currently, criminal background check requirements by the Department of Defense do not carry the same high standards as those under CCDBG of 2014, potentially leaving children vulnerable. The Military Child Care Protection Act of 2016 would prohibit individuals convicted of the following crimes from working with children at military child care facilities:

  • Murder
  • Child abuse or neglect
  • Crimes against children, such as child pornography
  • Spousal abuse
  • Rape or sexual assault
  • Kidnapping, arson, physical assault or battery
  • Drug related offense committed during the preceding five years

In 2012, 4-month old Sonny Degenhard died at a child care center on Fort Bragg. In a response to media inquiries about the death of Sonny Dagenhard, Ft. Bragg Officials cited fixing the discrepancy in background check policies as an area of improvement that could prevent future deaths.

A one-pager on the legislation is available here.