New proposed rules to improve child care have been announced by the Administration for Children and Families, an office within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The proposed rules offer additional guidance on program requirements established by the bipartisan Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, which was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in November 2014.

The law reauthorizes the Child Care and Development Fund program for the first time in 18 years. It also makes significant changes to increase the success of children served by the program and their families, including increasing health and safety requirements for child care programs and providers, making child care financial assistance more stable for low-income working parents, improving and expanding information parents have about child care options, and raising the quality of child care. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published Dec. 24 proposes additional guidance on specific program requirements.

“Parents deserve to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing their children are in safe care settings with knowledgeable staff,” said Mark Greenberg, HHS acting assistant secretary for children and families. “The new background check and training requirements in the law help give them that peace of mind.”

The public is invited to submit comments on these proposed rules, which are due 60 days after publication.