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Democrats Attack America’s Faith-Based Child Care

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The biggest spending item on Democrats’ tax and spend wish list is nearly $400 billion for a new “Birth to Five” and universal pre-kindergarten program.

Key Takeaways:

  • Democrats went out of their way to expressly prohibit religious child-care providers from receiving funds adding new requirements for pre-K and child-care programs.
  • This threatens the viability of smaller, private providers that many parents prefer, such as churches and community centers.
  • Child-care centers and preschools affiliated with religious organizations serve 53 percent of families in this country, according to a survey by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

As our nation faces crises on every front, Democrats are focused on seizing more control over Americans’ lives. Parents around the country are sounding alarms about what is being taught in public schools. If you think parents are engaged now — just wait to see what happens when parents find out their only option for day care is a government-approved provider.

Longstanding Federal Policy: Allow Parents to Choose Faith-Based Child-Care Providers

  • Current federal law specifies that child-care vouchers shall be considered assistance to the parent, not the provider. It further clarifies that funds are not considered federal financial assistance to the provider.
  • This gives parents the ability to choose faith-based providers using a voucher in the existing Child Care and Development Fund program.

Democrats’ New Restrictions Limit Parent Choice of Religious Providers

  • Democrats’ plan reverses this longstanding policy by: 1) designating funds as “federal financial assistance” and; 2) imposing federal Head Start restrictions. According to HHS, Head Start provides funding to more than 1,500 entities and only 33, or 2 percent, have a religious affiliation.
  • Democrats seek to purposefully disguise these new exclusionary policies by talking out of both sides of their mouth. The BBBA language says:

“Nothing in this section shall preclude the use of certificates for sectarian purposes if freely chosen by the parent. For the purposes of this section, child care certificates shall be considered federal financial assistance to the provider.”

  • By designating funds as “federal financial assistance” the provision would mandate that all providers comply with federal nondiscrimination statutes. Religious organizations, whose child-care programs are currently exempt from some such laws, argue that it would effectively block many of their providers from participating.
  • Even the New York Times recently reported an article confirming this plan faces strong opposition from religious groups — for this very reason.

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