The Southern Early Childhood Association is dedicated to improving the quality of life for the South's children and families. In order to assume that responsibility, we follow the progress of public policy debate and legislation, both nationally and in our 14 Southern states. This page is dedicated to providing you with the latest in public policy information.
Public Policy Alert
I recently sent out an alert about the CCDBG reauthorization. There is both good and bad news to relate at this point.
1) The U.S. House of Representatives passed the reauthorization bill on Monday and sent it to the Senate. (Go back to the previous alert below for details about the bill). This was a bi-partisan effort.
2) The Senate did not pass the bill in a wrap up session as part of a 30 bill vote. This was due to some procedural issues and objections by Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.
The Senate has adjourned until November 12th and that will be the date upon which the reauthorization may be reconsidered. (I could give you a lot of technical information about how this will happen, but all that’s really important is that you know the date and that it will be considered.)
On September 12th, it was announced that a bipartisan group of House and Senate leaders had reached an agreement to improve and reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant. (This is the federal program that funds subsidies for child care as well as a significant portion of professional development and quality initiatives in states.) Two SECA state Senators were part of the negotiating team, Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennesseeand Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina.
The proposed bill, the Child Care and Development Block Grant of 2014, amends the current CCDBG statute and is a description of what must be included in the state plan to receive and spend these federal funds. It includes these features:
1) A focus on parent choice, information access and protection from a loss of benefits (eligibility redetermination) and enhanced information about eligibility and access to other programs for which a family may qualify.
2) Professional development/training and the components of that system.
3) The authority of the state and the federal government in regard to development and implementation of these plans.
4) Licensing enforcement and the qualifications of licensors.
5) Prohibition for use of these funds to develop a children’s assessment that will be utilized to penalize providers or assess program effectiveness tied to compensation.
6) Disaster preparedness.
You’ll find at the bottom of the press release a link that will take you directly to the full text of the 89 page bill.
The advocacy groups in D.C. are asking for your support in contacting your Representatives and Senators to support the bill. To compose and send your original message, go to SECA’s website at http://www.southernearlychildhood.org/seca_states_advocacy_links.php You can click on your state’s link and you will find your Representative and Senator contact information.
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