Jewish leaders are commending senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) for introducing Senate Amendment 2819 to the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (S. 1086). This bipartisan amendment seeks to clarify the program’s continued support of child care certificates for early childhood education services in faith-based or other settings.
Originally passed in 1990, the Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG) has the primary goal “to promote parental choice, to empower working parents to make their own decisions regarding the child care that best suits their family’s needs.” This objective is met by maximizing child care options through the federally funded child care certificate, which afford parents the flexibility to choose among a wide range of child care providers and services, including faith-based pre-school programs.
Nathan Diament, Executive Director of Public Policy of the Orthodox Union, stated: “From its beginnings, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program was intended to offer low-income families a better choice in their child’s early education. A recent rule change by the Administration for Children and Families at the Department of Health & Human Services encourages the use of grants and contracts in awarding CCDBG funding to the detriment of certificates. This is at odds with legislated policy and thus the need for additional clarification. We thank Senators Scott and Landrieu for seeking to ensure that the parental choice component of CCDBG remains a guiding principle of the program for years to come.”