Washington, DC — President Trump recently signed into law legislation introduced by Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-06). It was the fourth bill led by McBath signed into law during her first term. H.R.3986/S.2683, the Child Care Protection Improvement Act, addresses barriers in completing background checks for child care providers who receive funding through the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Representatives Van Taylor (TX-03), Cindy Axne (IA-03), Fred Keller (PA-12), and Abby Finkenauer (IA-01) joined McBath in introducing this bipartisan measure, and it was led in the Senate by Senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Richard Burr (R-NC).

“I am incredibly proud that this bill has become law. Parents and families across our nation deserve the comfort of knowing their kids are receiving the best possible care. We must do everything we can to ensure the safety of our children,” said McBath. “I want to applaud my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, for working together to keep our children safe, set them up for educational success, and ensure our qualified child care providers have access to the opportunities they’ve worked so hard to achieve.”

The Child Care Protection Improvement Act creates an inter-agency task force to identify barriers in background check completion and recommend best practices to overcoming them. Interstate background checks have been particularly challenging with no streamlined processes for conducting background checks across state lines.

In 2014, when Congress reauthorized the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 1990, it made substantial changes to the law, including adding background checks to ensure that child care centers receiving federal dollars are employing quality professionals. In some states, legal roadblocks prevent out-of-state entities from conducting background checks. More than three-quarters of preschool-aged children attend some form of early care and education before reaching kindergarten. Research shows that the quality of early care programs has significant impact on a child’s future development. When children attend safe, high-quality early care and education programs, they develop the skills that help them succeed in school and in the future.