Maine Musings: The Child C.A.R.E. Act

Maine Musings
Last week Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representatives Joe Crowley (D-NY) and Lois Frankel (D-FL) introduced the Child Care Access to Resources for Early Learning Act of 2016, ( The Child C.A.R.E. Act) – H.R. 4524/S. 2539.

Quality child care is a non-partisan issue. It is vital to the nation’s economy and security. Investments made when children are very young will generate returns that accrue over a child’s entire life. Research has shown that high-quality early childhood programs contribute to stronger families, greater economic development and more-livable communities. Economists have estimated the rate of return for high-quality early intervention to be in the range of 6-10 percent per annum for children in disadvantaged families, and long-term returns on investment as high as 16 percent. ~Professor James Heckman

Here is a quick look at what this legislation means for families and providers from our friends at First Focus:

This legislation guarantees that by 2021, all families earning up to 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level with an infant or toddler under age 4 will have access to high-quality child care to promote family economic security and children’s early learning and development. This legislation not only ensures access to child care, but also promotes high quality care that gives infants and toddlers a nurturing and caring environment in which to thrive. Key components of the legislation include:

  • Ensuring all families with infants and toddlers who are living at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level and need child care have access to high quality child care by 2021;
  • Providing parents and child care providers with adequate resources to support high quality early care and learning for children under age 4.
  • Ensuring that child care provider payment rates are set at a level that supports quality child care for children under age 4;
  • Assisting child care providers in strengthening their competencies and skills in accordance with the National Academies of Sciences Report, Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth Through Age 8;
  • Ensuring that there is a continuum of quality early learning within states and tribes, starting with prenatal care and continuing into the early years of school.

Funded at $25 billion over 5 years with mandatory funding paid for by eliminating the corporate inversion loophole, this legislation takes a bold step to guarantee that working families and children have safe, affordable and high quality child care.

This legislation would have an enormous impact for families, especially those with very young children. For many parents it will enable them to gain access to affordable, high-quality child care for the first time. A safe, nurturing environment that enriches children’s development is critical to working families and is one of the best investments we can make in our economy.

Mainely Kids

Here’s what you can do now!

Please sign on to a letter to Senator Collins and Senator King asking them to support and consider becoming a co-sponsor of Senator Casey’s bill –
S. 2539. You may sign on as an individual and/or as an organization.

The letters with all signatures will be hand delivered to the Senators in their Washington, DC offices onTuesday, March 1st.

Please click HERE to add your information.

Thank you!

Dear Senator,

As your constituent, I urge you to support and co-sponsor the “Child Care Access to Resources for Early-learning Act (the Child C.A.R.E. Act),” sponsored by Senator Bob Casey – S.2539 – to help children and their families gain access to quality child care.

High-quality child care and early education is a non-partisan issue. It not only promotes a child’s development, but it also helps support parents who are struggling to balance work and family.

Investments made when children are very young will generate returns that accrue over a child’s entire life. Research has shown that high-quality early childhood programs contribute to stronger families, greater economic development and more-livable communities. Economists have estimated the rate of return for high-quality early intervention to be in the range of 6-10 percent per annum for children in disadvantaged families, and long-term returns on investment as high as 16 percent.

This legislation will have an enormous impact for families, especially those with very young children. For many parents it will enable them to gain access to affordable, high-quality child care for the first time. A safe, nurturing environment that enriches children’s development is critical to working families and is one of the best investments we can make in our economy.

Thank you for your support to positively change the trajectory for many of Maine’s children and their families.

MaryLou Beaver
Maine Director
Every Child Matters Education Fund