03.05.20

Senate Unanimously Passes Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Child Care Protection

Today, the Senate unanimously passed the Child Care Protection Improvement Act, authored by Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). This bipartisan legislation would create a task force to assist states in the process of implementing federal work requirements for child care workers. 

“Keeping our children safe from harm must always be a top priority,” said Senator Burr. “This commonsense legislation enhances child safety by helping states meet the employment requirements Congress envisioned six years ago. I’m proud to see the Senate unanimously pass this important legislation to give working parents peace of mind and better safeguard our children.”

“As we work to make sure childcare is affordable, we must also ensure that it’s safe and that parents have peace of mind about who is watching their children,” said Senator Van Hollen. “Right now, too many states have been slow to implement the criminal background check requirements that are already in place under the law, including interstate checks. Our Child Care Protection Act would change that, and today the full Senate has voted to move this bipartisan legislation forward. Now it’s time for the House to act. Working together, we will help states make the improvements necessary to ensure a high-quality childcare workforce and a safe environment for every child.”

Background:

In 2014, Senator Burr championed the inclusion of criminal background check requirements for child care workers hired by providers that receive federal funding under the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).

Currently, only two states are in federal compliance with the background check requirements, while the remaining states have been placed on corrective action plans or issued penalty notices. States are required to be in full compliance by September 30, 2020.

This legislation will better equip states with ways to address these challenges by creating a task force to develop recommendations, best practices, and technical assistance to Federal and State agencies as they continue to implement these requirements.

The Child Care Protection Improvement Act unanimously passed the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee on December 12, 2019.

This legislation has been endorsed by the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Early Care and Education Consortium, the First Five Years Fund, and KinderCare.