Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Mark Begich (D-AK), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) introduced the Child Care and Resources Education Act of 2013 (Child CARE Act), which would support a national toll-free referral line and website for parents to get information on high-quality child care in their local communities.
"As a mom and former preschool teacher, I know that parents are always looking for more information on high-quality child care options in their communities, and this bill will help them get that," said Senator Murray. "Good local information that's easily accessible is especially important for military families, whose child care needs change every time there is a deployment or a move to a new community. And high-quality child care helps all parents feel confident that their child is safe while they look for work or are on the job."
"This bill is simple and powerful," said Senator Mikulski. "It provides families with a telephone hotline and website to find out about safe, affordable, quality child care options in their area. The investment we make in this resource is modest, but it's critical. When a parent goes to work or to school they should have peace of mind and know that their little boy or girl is in a safe and healthy environment. The Child CARE Act will help parents find a child care setting that fits their particular needs, economic or otherwise."
"This bill will go a long way in helping Alaska's families, particularly our military families, provide high quality care for their children from the very start by providing the information resources they need when they move to a new community," said Senator Begich. "As a parent who knows what it's like to move with a young child, there are plenty of things to worry about when getting settled, and the safety and care of your family is at the top of that list."
"Child care isn't just an education issue, it's an economic one," said Senator Hirono. "If parents can't find child care, they can't work and that hurts our entire economy. The Child CARE Act will support a national hotline and website so Hawaii parents can call one number or check one website to access all the services available to them."
The Child CARE Act would direct at least $1 million per year in existing funding from the Child Care and Development Block Grant to develop and disseminate child care consumer education information for parents and to help families access safe, affordable, and quality child care.