Quick passage urged for child care legislation
Subject: Quick passage urged for child care legislation
Source: People's Daily World (212) 924-2523
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The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) last week called on Congress and
President Bush to quickly act on pending child care legislation to "give
families and states both the framework and the resources they need to ensure
quality child care for American children."
The call coincided with the CDF's release of a report entitled, "Who
Knows How Safe? The Status of State Efforts to Ensure Quality Child Care."
The report found that the bulk of 6 million children in out-of-home child care
across the country remain unprotected.
In releasing the report, CDF Vice President Kati Haycock said, "Working
families with young children wait another year for this nation to do what so
many other industrialized nations have done" by passing the amended version fo
the Early Childhood and Development Act in the House. The Senate version of
that legislation, the Act for Better Child Care, was passed last year.
The legislation would provide $1.75 billion in 1991 to help meet the
cost of child care and would offer parents a choice among a full range of high
quality providers. It would also ensure that states develop minimum
requirements for child care and expand tax credits to low-income working
Haycock said, "This legislation has received bipartisan support and is
consistent with child care principles supported by the president ... We
therefore are confident that, in keeping with his 1988 campaign pledge,
President Bush will swiftly sign the measure into law as soon as congressional
action on the bill is completed."
Gina Adams, who wrote the report, said, "The quality of care is
particularly important for poor children. High quality child care can prevent
and often reverse much of the damage that children suffer when growing up."
Adams added, "Children in poor quality care are less likely to develop
strong cognitive and social skills and to be prepared for school. The long-
term costs of inadequate care are difficult to measure, but for low-income
children they include increased problems in school and the workplace as well
as reduced self-sufficiency in adulthood."
In addition to expressing concern about children's safety, the report
found that "although low salaries for child care providers cause high turnover
and contribute to the current crisis in the quality and supply of child care,
35 states made no attempt to improve child care salaries in 1989."
Adams said, "All children need a safe and healthy environment."