Child Care:

Promoting Quality in Family Child Care

HEHS-95-36: Published: Dec 7, 1994. Publicly Released: Dec 7, 1994.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed family child care, focusing on: (1) public and private initiatives to enhance the quality of family child care; (2) the financing of family care initiatives; (3) the federal role in supporting quality initiatives; and (4) the implications of these initiatives for welfare reform.

GAO found that: (1) many national initiatives seek to improve family child care quality and are financed both from public and private sources; (2) although most of the $8 billion in federal child care support in 1993 went to subsidies to help parents pay for child care, approximately $156 million was used to improve the quality of child care through 195 different initiatives; (3) the two child care quality initiatives that are used most often are the Department of Health and Human Services' Child Care and Development Block Grant and the Department of Agriculture's Child and Adult Care Food Program; (4) research shows that child care quality improvement activities are critical to enhancing the quality of care in all types of child care settings; (5) family child care is expected to grow and is particularly important to poor children; and (6) these initiatives can provide information on ways to improve quality in family child care settings.

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