Policy Priorities

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Legislative Update

U.S. Capitol

Strong Start for America's Children Act

The Strong Start for America's Children Act (S. 1697/H.R. 3461) invests in and encourages expansions of high quality home visiting programs, Early Head Start, Head Start, child care, pre-kindergarten and quality kindergarten programs to provide high quality early childhood development and learning experiences for low-income and vulnerable children from birth through age 5. Read our short summary of this important legislation to see how the Strong Start for America's Children Act offers new hope for children and families. Read our summary of the latest research to discover why these new investments are so crucial for our children and our future and take action!

Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013

Recognizing the need for quality improvements in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) to address children's developmental needs while supporting their parents' employment, a bipartisan group of Senators, including Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Richard Burr (R-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2013 (S. 1086) on June 1, 2013. S. 1086 reauthorizes CCDBG, the major federal funding stream to support the child care needs of working parents through 2019. It expands health and safety standards that child care providers must meet, requires states to expand spending on specific quality improvement activities, and promotes continuity of care for chidlren. The Children's Defense Fund supports the effort to requthorize CCDBG and applauds the recognition that the legislation places on the need for high quality care, children's health and safety, and continuity of care for children and families. Read more about S. 1086 at Congress.gov