Miller-Meeks & Buchanan Introduce Bill to Increase Accountability in Child Care Funds
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, May 28th, 2021, Reps. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (IA-02) and Vern Buchanan (FL-16) introduced the Child Care Funds Accountability Act. This legislation would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to monitor compliance with the requirements of the American Rescue Plan (ARP) relating to the use of funds for child care.
Under the Child Care Funds Accountability Act, HHS would be required to dedicate a portion of the $35 million provided for federal administrative costs in the ARP to monitoring compliance of the use of funds with regard to the ARP stabilization grant funds. Under this legislation, HHS must monitor compliance with non-supplantation requirements in the ARP, and HHS must monitor and ensure that there is no duplication with PPP loans received by child care providers.
“Child care services are too important to our working families to not have adequate oversight. Transparency is key to making sure our children are well taken care of,” said Miller-Meeks. “We must ensure that taxpayer funds are spent appropriately and used as they are intended.”
“Over the last 14 months, child care providers have been absolutely devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last summer, I was pleased to support record levels of funding to stabilize the industry and help providers safely reopen their doors,” said Buchanan. “Now, as the country works to return to normal, it is critical we ensure that those taxpayer dollars are spent responsibly. This important legislation will do just that.”
An unprecedented amount of federal funding has been provided for child care in a single year; the largest single pot of funding was the $24 billion child care stabilization fund. While the ARP included an additional $35 million for implementing child stabilization, it did not specify that there be critical oversight to ensure program integrity. Rather, it noted technical assistance and research. It is incumbent upon Congress to ensure taxpayer funds are spent responsibly. This legislation would require HHS to reserve a portion of the $35 million to ensure program integrity.
To read the full text of the legislation, click HERE.