SUPPORTING HIGH QUALITY CHILD CARE

WHEREAS, high-quality and affordable child care helps children learn and supports families; and

WHEREAS, the need for child care and after-school programs is a daily concern for millions of working parents; and

WHEREAS, every day, 13 million preschoolers, including 6 million infants and toddlers, are in child care; and

WHEREAS, nearly 7 million children are left home alone after school every day while their parents work; and

WHEREAS, the parents of only one in seven eligible children receive financial assistance for child care; and

WHEREAS, research on early brain development demonstrates that the experiences children have and the attachments they form have a decisive, long-lasting impact on their later development and learning; and

WHEREAS, children who attend high-quality early care and education programs enter school better able to learn and more likely to succeed in school; and

WHEREAS, high-quality child care helps children develop language, cognitive, and social skills, which are essential to academic achievement; and

WHEREAS, child care and after-school programs promote learning and enhance the physical, social, emotional, and moral development of children; and

WHEREAS, the current Child Care and Development Fund requires a 5 percent quality set-aside for states to support initiatives that reflect recent research showing the critical link between the quality of child care and after-school programs and later academic and social success of children; and

WHEREAS, the United States Congress is currently debating the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund, the federal government's primary support for child care,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The United States Conference of Mayors encourages the federal government to increase its support for high-quality child care by investing an additional $20 billion over five years in the Child Care and Development Block Grant, doubling the number of eligible children served and helping two million more children and their families; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors requests that the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant include an increase in the quality set-aside to 12 percent to improve the quality of care across the country.