What is the Child First Act? According to NWLC's Womenstake blog, it's a crucial piece of legislation that would,
...increase child care funding through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program (TANF) by $800 million a year over five years, with an adjustment for inflation. The increased funding would allow approximately 117,500 more children to have access to safe and affordable child care.The act was introduced by Senators John Kerry and Blanche Lincoln and Congressman Joseph Crowley on Wednesday -- but if it's going to pass, it needs the support of many more members of Congress. Reach out to your representatives and senators today and urge them to support this important piece of legislation for America's children!
In addition, the Act would ensure that the minimum child care health and safety standards required for providers receiving Child Care and Development Block Grant funding also apply to providers receiving funding through TANF.
Finally, the Act would ensure that states could not withhold or reduce cash assistance to a single parent with children under age 13 who does not meet TANF work requirements because of the unavailability of appropriate, affordable child care arrangements. Currently, this provision only applies to parents with children under six, despite the importance of safe care for school-age children.
Check out how another Ms. Foundation grantee, The Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative, is working to provide quality childcare for children across the state of Mississippi.