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Sen. Franken Introduces Legislation to Improve Care for Minnesota's Infants, Toddlers

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U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) introduced legislation yesterday that would improve preparation of Minnesota's children for school by giving child care providers access to resources to help them provide better care to infants and toddlers.

"The first three years of a child's life are critical to his or her brain development, and our youngest children need capable, hands-on care during these years to ensure they are ready for school," said Sen. Franken. "Unfortunately, too many of our children don't have access to quality child care, which increases their odds of not being ready for school, being held back in school, or dropping out of school. My bill would help provide better care for many infants and toddlers, helping them reach their full potential in school and later in life."

The Infant and Toddler Care Improvement Act would improve the quality of infant and toddler care by doing the following, among other things:

Providing funding for training and accreditation programs to help child care providers improve the quality of the care they offer
Creating networks of family care providers to offer technical assistance, administrative support, and other services to parents and other care providers
Making it easier for parents to find quality care providers by supporting state rating programs and helping parents access rating information

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