Breaking News: House of Representatives Advances CCDBG Reauthorization

Child Care Aware of America reports that the House of Representatives has advanced the Child Care Development Block Grant Reauthorization.

This is a huge win for working families in this country. This bill contains many common-sense measures for helping protect children in child care, such as requiring providers to undergo comprehensive background checks, ensuring annual inspections are conducted and requiring childcare providers receive training on CPR, first aid and safe sleep practices.

We are one step closer to ensuring children are safe and receiving quality early learning experiences while in child care. The research is clear, children’s early years are proven to be the most important time to create strong learners. This bill sets the standard families expect for their children.

Please join us to thank the House of Representatives for standing up for children and working families by voting yes to reauthorize CCDBG by clicking here.

Now that the House has passed the bill, the Senate will have to take it up again. Click here join us to urge your Senators to pass CCDBG out of Congress for the first time in 18 years.

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CCDBG Reauthorization

This news is just in from Child Care Aware of America!

Last Friday, September 12, 2014, House and Senate leaders reached a bipartisan agreement to improve and reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act. Negotiated by Representatives John Kline (R-MN), George Miller (D-CA), Todd Rokita (R-IN), and David Loebsack (D-IA), and Senators Tom Harkin (D-IA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), and Richard Burr (R-NC), the agreement will enhance transparency, strengthen health and safety protections, and improve the quality of care.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) is the primary federal grant program that provides child care assistance to families, and funds quality initiatives for child care. Your advocacy efforts have gotten us this far, but our work isn’t done yet. You can continue to make a difference by telling your Members of Congress that we need to strengthen CCDBG as they are considering its reauthorization.

Timing is critical. Members of Congress need to hear from you now more than ever.  Act now to support working families.

The bill is set to be on the Floor of the House of Representatives today, as part of the legislative activity set to start at 2pm Eastern. To watch the House Floor proceedings, click here.

To read a summary of the agreement, click here.

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Senate Appropriations Subcommittee Approves Funding Increase for Early Childhood Programs

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June 13, 2014 · 1:13 pm

The Affordable Care Act Webinar

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Presents a Need to Know Webinar about the Affordable Care Act 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013 1:00pm-2:30pm EST

 

More than 1 million home and center-based teachers and caregivers do not have health insurance.  These individuals may be impacted by new health insurance opportunities made possible by Affordable Care Act.  Staying healthy working with little ones is very important to the care providers, provide for the children in their care.  Having insurance can provide a sense of health security and the peace of mind that allows providers to support children, and families.

 

Targeted Audience:

  • Child Care Directors and Staff
  • Family Child Care Home Providers
  • Head Start Directors, Program Managers, Staff

 

Brief Overview of Webinar:

The 90 minute webinar will discuss tax and employer provisions that may affect providers, information on Heath Insurance Marketplace, and the role early care and education providers can play in raising awareness about The Marketplace and ACA.

The information will be presented by:

Dr. George L. Askew, Chief Medical Officer, ACF, and representatives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid, the Small Business Administration, and the Internal Revenue Service will be on hand to answer questions including ones specific to tax and provisions of the law.

How to register:

Select the link below and fill out the registration form.  After registering, a confirmation email will be sent with information about joining the webinar.

https://citrix.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1026599

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Early Learning Bill Introduced in Congress

On November 13, 2013 Senator Tom Hawkins, Congressman George Miller, Congressman Richard Hanna, introduced the “Strong Start for America’s Children Act of 2013 in the Senate and House. 

The bill introduction in both the Senate and House express that children and families should have access to affordable, and quality early learning experinces.  There are far too many families that do not have access to quality early learning opportunities.  Many families have a hard time getting quality early learning expeirence for their children as well. 

The bill would establish federal and state partnerships to provide the tools necessary for parents to access quality programming for preschool, for all low-to-moderate income children.   These efforts would allow children to enhance thier school readiness.  The bill would also make funds avaliable for grants to help states improve the current quaility of exsiting programs. 

For an in depth look into this bill visit Child Care Aware of America (National Policy Blog). 

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Answers to Common Questions on National Criminal History Checks

Below are some common questions on the new state required national fingerprint criminal history checks.

Q: Who has to get a national criminal history check?

A: This law applies to all regulated child care providers including licensed centers, licensed homes, unlicensed registered ministries, unlicensed homes receiving CCDF payments and unlicensed centers receiving CCDF payments.

For each provider type the applicant, all child care employees and volunteers, and household members that are at least 18 years old (for licensed child care homes and unlicensed child care homes receiving CCDF only) are required to get a national criminal history check (fingerprint check).

Note: The law defines “volunteer” as anyone who does unpaid work in your child care program for 8 or more hours each month. If you have either employees or volunteers that are under the age of 18, these individuals must have a Juvenile Criminal History Check completed by following the instructions online at: http://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/4182.htm

Individuals who are present in the child care program less than 8 hours a month are considered “guests”. Guests are not to be left alone with children and they are not counted within the staff to child ratios.

All cooks, janitors, and similar employees of the child care program must be fingerprinted because they are staff members with access to children.

Q: My child care program is within a larger agency- for example within a school, a church, a Community Action Program or a YMCA. Do all of the employees of the larger agency also have to get these fingerprint checks?

A: No. When determining if other volunteers and employees of larger agencies need to have criminal background checks for your child care program you will need to consider the role that the individual plays:

  • Does this person provide care for the children; are they counted in your staff to child ratios or left alone with children? If yes, the individual must have a background check.
  • Does the individual volunteer within the child care program more than eight hours per month? Yes, this individual must have a background check.
  • Is this person the applicant on your child care registration, application, or license? If yes, this person must have a background check.

If you have any questions about specific circumstances or individuals within your larger agency please contact your licensing consultant, registration consultant, or CCDF inspector as appropriate. They know your program best and can help you determine which individuals are required to have a check.

Q: What if I have already been fingerprinted for another purpose or through another organization- can I use this check to meet the requirements of new laws?

A:
Those individuals who are required to have a national fingerprint background check must be fingerprinted through the approved vendor (L1), the fingerprints must be used to conduct a check of the national FBI database and the results must be sent by the Indiana State Police to the Bureau of Child Care. There are other vendors that conduct national background checks; however, most often these are either checks based only on a name (not fingerprints) and/or the checks have not been run through the national FBI database.

If you have recently been fingerprinted for a national background check for another purpose (such as your organization requires a background check), we will not be able to accept these past checks. However, in the future, we recommend that you speak to your other organization about alternatives. For example, as the individual on whom the search was conducted, you may request the results of your check and can choose to share this copy with your organization. BCC cannot release the results of the checks to any organization or individual, but each individual has a right to request a copy of his or her own results. Instructions for requesting the results of a check are posted online at http://www.in.gov/fssa/carefinder/4182.htm.

Q: If I hire a new employee after July 1, 2013, do they have to have national criminal background checks?

A: Yes, individuals who begin working or volunteering on or after July 1, 2013 must have the national background check completed.

 

For more  FAQ’s and information regarding the new state requirements, visit BCC’s Frequently Asked Questions page.

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Info About New Child Care Laws on BCC Website

The Bureau of Child Care has informed Child Care Answers that the BCC website (www.childcarefinder.in.gov) has been updated to include important information and resources concerning the new child care laws.

  • Changes to Child Care Laws Effective July 1 – linked at the top of our home page under “Bureau of Child Care Updates.” This page contains a summary of the new laws, a schedule of teleconference/webinar information sessions for providers, and copies of the information packets that were mailed to providers on June 1. These information packets are at the bottom of the page.
  • Presentations and Answers to the FAQs on the New Child Care Laws – linked at the top of our home page under “Bureau of Child Care Updates.”  This page contains the PowerPoint presentations used in the teleconference/webinar information sessions and answers to the Frequently Asked Questions. The FAQ is updated regularly as new questions come in.
  • Provider Fingerprinting Services  – linked on the left side of our home page under “Provider Resources”. It has been updated to reflect the new law.

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