As our nation mourns a president, child care advocates are mourning one of the fiercest defenders of critical child care infrastructures. President Bush pledged his continued support of the National Commission on Children, paving the way for key legislative victories including the establishment of the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP.)
During his service, President Bush signed the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act into law, which was designed to help low-income families afford child care and improve the quality of that care. It also put the wheels in motion for the creation of a much needed child care subsidy program. In 1990, President Bush signed the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act into law, which called on state Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies to help families make informed child care choices as well as within their budgets and with increasing quality standards. CCDBG has since been reauthorized twice under former Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and greatly expanded and enhanced to make access to child care more affordable, as well as safe and high-quality.
The ADA also had a direct impact on child care programs by prohibiting providers from excluding children based on a disability, excluding extenuating circumstances, and mandating that staff be trained in addressing their needs. ADA legislation was instrumental in formalized the role of CCR&Rs in delivering professional development to child care providers on inclusive child care. It also requires that a provider ensure access to the full facility including restrooms and the playground. In fact, the ADA law was very influential in helping Congress and the Obama Administration reauthorize CCDBG in 2014. Today, child care centers are held to high access and safety standards.
CCAoA remembers with heavy hearts the contributions made to the child care movement by President Bush and our thoughts are with all those who are mourning today.