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Feds Propose Stronger Child Care Standards

A proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services would strengthen standards for the 1.6 million children who are served by providers that get money from the Child Care and Development Fund, a federal program to aid low-income children under the age of 13. The administration claims that current regulations resemble a patchwork of regulations for childcare centers, with state laws varying on whether providers need background checks or first aid and CPR training. One in 10 children who are served by the program are cared for in totally unregulated facilities, the department asserts in the proposal, which “can leave children in unsafe conditions, even as their care is being funded with public dollars.” The department’s proposal would require that providers receive background checks, are monitored on-site and complete health and safety training. It also mandates that states set up websites to tell parents about different child care providers, their licenses and possible past violations, which would cost state agencies about $2 million.

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