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Millions of children are cared for by someone other than their parents every day; and nearly two out of three (65.9 percent) poor families with children under 18 have at least one worker. In 2011, center-based care for infants was more expensive than public college in 35 states and the District of Columbia, and 4-year-old care was more expensive than college in 25 states and the District of Columbia.
In 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to assist working families with the cost of providing child care. CCDBG is the primary source of federal funding for child care assistance. States use the resources provided by the CCDBG to help low-income families gain access to quality, affordable child care and after-school programs. CCDBG provides funding to help parents pay for the care of their choice, whether in a family child care home, with a relative or a friend, or in a child care center.
Child care is an integral part of everyday life for America’s families, as parents rely on child care to ensure the safety and well-being of their children while they work and to help their children succeed in school. The Children’s Defense Fund supports programs like the Child Care and Development Block Grant which help to ensure that all families have access to affordable, quality child care.