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H.R. 30 (101st): Act for Better Child Care Services of 1989

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Jan 3, 1989.

Act for Better Child Care Services of 1989 - Amends the State Dependent Care Development Grants Act (subchapter D of chapter 8 of subtitle A of title VI of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981) to provide for a Federal program for the improvement of child care and to retitle such Act as the State Child Care Development Grants Act of 1989. Sets forth a formula for allotments to States based on numbers of children under age five, numbers of children eligible for free or reduced price lunches under the school lunch program, and per capita income. Authorizes the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to make grants to applicant Indian tribes or tribal organizations for programs and activities under this Act for the benefit of Indian children. Requires the chief executive officer of a State to designate an appropriate State lead agency. Requires the agency to establish several local advisory councils that collectively represent the entire geographical area in the State. Requires States to submit to the Secretary, in order to qualify for assistance under this Act, an application and five-year plan. Requires the plan to set forth procedures designed to ensure that: (1) the parents of children who will receive assisted child care services are permitted to select the eligible child care provider; (2) the State will attempt to place such child with such provider; and (3) each eligible child care provider will provide service to a reasonable mix of children, including those from different socioeconomic backgrounds and those with a handicapping condition. Requires the plan to specify that at least 75 percent of the State allotment will be used to provide qualified child care services to eligible children, on a sliding fee scale basis (according to specified funding methods), with priority given to services to children of families with very low incomes. Requires that at least ten percent of such reserved funds be used to provide for the extension of part-day programs. Requires the plan to make ineligible for assistance under this Act child care providers who are convicted, or who employ as providers of child care services persons convicted of specified Federal and State offenses involving sexual contact with individuals under age 16 or the production or advertisement of child pornography. Sets forth special rules for use of State allotments. Requires that child care services be provided by: (1) contracts with or grants to eligible child care providers for direct services; (2) grants to local governments to contract with direct providers; or (3) child care certificates distributed to parents of eligible children to enable them to purchase such services from such providers. Prohibits financial assistance under this Act from being expended for the construction of any new facility, and sets forth limitations on such assistance for renovation or repair of existing facilities. Authorizes the Secretary to make planning grants, in the first year of their program participation, to States which desire to participate under this Act but cannot fully satisfy the requirements of a State plan without financial assistance. Requires States receiving funds to recognize and assist private nonprofit community-based organizations, public organizations, local governments, or public agencies representing combinations of local governments, as resource and referral agencies for particular areas. Requires resource and referral programs to: (1) identify existing child care services; (2) inform and refer parents to such services; (3) provide for information, training, and technical assistance to existing and potential providers; and (4) provide information on supply of and demand for such services in a community. Requires each participating State to require that all employed or self-employed persons providing licensed or regulated child care complete at least 15 hours per year of specified training. Directs the State to make grants to and enter into contracts with specified entities to provide such training. Requires participating States to provide scholarship assistance to: (1) individuals who seek a nationally recognized child development associate credential for center-based or family child care and whose income is not more than 50 percent above the poverty line; and (2) caregivers who seek to obtain the 15-hour minimum annual training and whose income is not above the poverty line. Requires participating States to carry out activities designed to encourage businesses in the State to support or provide child care services to a reasonable mix of children of employees and nonemployees, including those from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Establishes in the Department of Health and Human Services the position of Administrator of Child Care to: (1) coordinate all Department and other Federal agency activities relating to child care; (2) collect and publish annually State child care standards; (3) evaluate activities founded under this title; (4) act as a clearinghouse for specified matters; and (5) provide technical assistance to States. Establishes Federal enforcement provisions for review of State plans and monitoring of compliance. Sets the Federal share of the aggregate amount to be spent under the State plan at 80 percent, but raises it to 85 percent when the State demonstrates that all child care providers are appropriately licensed and regulated and that those receiving assistance meet certain requirements and minimum standards. Directs the Governor of each participating State to establish a State advisory committee on child care to assist the lead agency. Requires the committee to have a subcommittee on licensing to review the laws applicable to the requirements and policies of each licensing agency. Requires a subcommittee report to the Governor, and requires the Governor, within 60 days of its receipt, to report to the Secretary with comments and a plan for correcting or improving licensing, regulating, and monitoring of child care services and programs. Requires the Secretary to establish a National Advisory Committee on Child Care Standards to: (1) review Federal policies on child care services; (2) submit to the Secretary proposed minimum standards for child care programs; and (3) develop and make available to lead agencies model regulations for resource and referral agencies. Limits the scope of such standards for specified types of child care services and sets forth the administrative procedure for promulgating them. Prohibits financial assistance under this Act for: (1) any sectarian purpose or activity; or (2) any services during the regular grade or high school day, or for which academic credit is given toward graduation, or which supplant or duplicate a public or private school academic program. Prohibits a child care provider from discriminating against any child on the basis of religion when providing child care services in return for a fee paid, reimbursement received, or certificate redeemed in whole or in part with financial assistance provided under this Act. Provides for a review of the operation of a State plan during the five-year period to determine the State's continued eligibility for funds. Makes eligible for services under this Act children: (1) under 13 years of age; (2) whose family income does not exceed 115 percent of the State median income for a family of the same size; and (3) who either reside with a parent or parents who are working, are seeking employment, or are enrolled in a job training or education program, or reside with a parent or parents not thus described and receive or need to receive protective services. Authorizes appropriations for FY 1990 through 1994.