Senate Passes Bill to Improve Child Care for Colorado Families

Includes Bennet-Authored Amendments to Better Coordinate Funding Streams, Improve Access to Child Care

The United States Senate today passed a bipartisan bill that improves access to child care and places a greater emphasis on the quality of child care programs for working families. The Child Care and Development Block Grant Act passed 97-1 and includes two bipartisan amendments introduced by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet.

“Colorado families deserve the peace of mind to know their kids are being cared for in a safe environment while they are working to put pay the bills,” Bennet said. “This bill makes much-needed improvements to ensure families have access to quality child care. Our kids will benefit from early education, and it will help put parents in a place to succeed.”

The bill includes a bipartisan Bennet amendment introduced with Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) to help states identify where funding streams can better complement each other and thereby promote a more coordinated and integrated system of early learning programs. It was cosponsored by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Kirk (R-IL).

Bennet also worked with Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to secure an amendment that makes it easier for post-doctoral researchers working at federal facilities to access onsite child care. Current law only allows child care centers at federal agencies if at least half of the children have a parent employed by the government. However, post-doctoral researchers are not considered federal employees. This limits the ability of centers to offer onsite child care. The Bennet-Murkowski amendment allows eligible researchers to count toward the threshold.

The Child Care Development Block Grant Act provides funding for child care services for low income families, allowing parents to work or attend school.