U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today visited Elm Street Day Care Center in Greensboro to discuss the need for Washington to come together to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), a program that was last reauthorized 16 years ago. Hagan, a member of the Senate committee responsible for education policy, highlighted the importance of continued investments in quality early childhood education.
"In North Carolina, we understand that investing in our children's future success means making key investments in education long before kindergarten or first grade," said Hagan. "The CCDBG program has helped to make quality early education a reality for children throughout the state, and Elm Street Center is a fantastic model for how we can use federal dollars wisely. It is past time to reauthorize this important program both to ensure the future success of our children and families and to be sure federal resources are being used effectively and efficiently."
The CCDBG program, the primary federal grant program supporting childcare for low-income working families, was most recently authorized in 1996 and is 11 years overdue for reauthorization. Currently, close to 90,000 children are served through the CCDBG funding in North Carolina.
At Elm Street Center, Hagan saw firsthand how funding for the CCDBG program is helping families in North Carolina and how the program can be updated to work better and more efficiently.
"The federal Child Care and Development Block Grant is a critical federal program that allows low-income working families to obtain jobs and keep jobs by providing child care subsidies," said Robin Britt, executive director of Guilford Child Development. "Senator Hagan's visit to Guilford Child Development underscores the importance of reauthorizing the CCDBG program so essential to the families we serve and to our workforce."
Investments in early childhood development help prepare children for success in school and in the workforce. Research shows that investing in high-quality early childhood development programs can have a return on investment between $3.00 and $17.00. High-quality early education also contributes to lower crime rates, higher graduate rates and higher lifetime earnings.
About the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program
The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary source of federal resources for childcare assistance. Each state receives money to help increase low-income families' access to quality childcare and afterschool programs. Eligible families receive a subsidy to help them pay for the program of their choice. The CCDBG also provides resources for states to improve the overall quality of their childcare and afterschool programs.