UPDATE: The Senate this approved by voice vote Senator Tim Scott’s amendment clarifying that the CCDBG program continues to support the use of certificates for the purchase of child care services. Thank you!
ISSUE: The Senate is voting today on S. 1086. This bill is a reauthorization of the CCDBG Program. We want to clarify that this bill does not favor or promote the use of grants or contracts over the use of child care certificates in faith-based or other settings. It is important to take action on this child care issue, because this legislation is being considered in the broader conversation of early education, universal pre-k, and parental choice.
Senator Tim Scott (Republican-South Carolina) will be introducing this Amendment #1 early this afternoon. This is an important amendment for us and one for which we need to generate support via phone calls and emails.
BACKGROUND: The original 1990 legislation expressly provides that the primary goal of CCDBG is “to promote parental choice to empower working parents to make their own decisions regarding the child care that best suits their family’s needs.” Congress clearly intended to meet this objective by maximizing child care options through the introduction of the “child care certificate,” which affords parents the flexibility to choose among the widest range of child care providers and services, including options that are both sectarian and non-sectarian in nature. The recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued by the Administration For Children and Families (Docket #ACF-2013-0001) sought to increase the use of grants and contracts to the detriment of the certificates, which play a prominent role in providing child care under this program. The clarification provided in Amendment #1 is meant to highlight and reiterate that the parental choice component of the program (through certificates) remains a guiding principal of the program.
CHURCH TEACHING: In Gravissimum Educationis, 1965, The Declaration on Christian Education from the Second Vatican Council, it states that: “Parents who have the primary and inalienable right and duty to educate their children must enjoy true liberty in their choice of schools.” The Catholic Church has advanced this as a fundamental part of its mission in both written word and live witness for the past 150 years.
ACTION: Please contact your Senator by email or phone and let him or her know that you support Senator Scott in his efforts to defend parental choice in child care and education. If you are in Senator Scott’s district, please thank him for his leadership and support of this issue.
Senator Toomey’s phone number is (202) 224-4254. Senator Casey’s phone number is (202) 224-6324.
You can also email them here.