Barack Obama photo

Remarks on Signing the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014

November 19, 2014

The President. Well, as many of you know, one of my top priorities is making sure that we've got affordable, high-quality childcare and early childhood education for our young people across the country. Today I am pleased to sign a bill into law that will—is going to bring us closer to that goal. That's the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant program. I want to thank bipartisan Members of Congress who are here today.

This law is going to do several important things. It's going to improve the quality of child care by requiring more training for caregivers and more enrichment for children. It's going to improve child safety by instituting background checks for staff and better inspection of facilities. It's going to give working parents a little more peace of mind. If you receive subsidies to pay for your childcare, you know that if you get a raise on your job or you find a job, your kids aren't automatically losing their care because your status has changed midstream.

I first proposed legislation to accomplish some of these goals back in 2010. When we couldn't get it through Congress, we began a rulemaking process to try to do this through executive efforts, and Sylvia Burwell, the HHS Secretary, is here. Because the legislation has now passed, we are actually ending the rulemaking process because we've now got a law, and we're going to be able to focus on implementing the law.

And I want to thank all the legislators here. It's a good step forward. It shows that Democrats and Republicans, when it comes to making sure our kids are getting the best possible education, are united. And that's good for our kids, and that's good for our country.

So with that, I'm going to make sure that I sign this properly, using all these pens. [Laughter]

[At this point, the President began signing the bill.]

The President. I love signing bills. I'd like doing it more often. [Laughter] What do you say, guys? [Laughter] Yeah, it's good.

[The President continued signing the bill.]

Senator Thomas R. Harkin. Well, I would note for the record that this is the 21st bill from the Committee that Lamar and I chair and have ranking membership on—21st bill that you've signed into law in the last 2 years.

The President. Well, the—that's because you and Lamar are some pretty productive legislators who actually are focused on getting stuff done. And we're very proud of you, and we're proud of all the legislators who are here today. So congratulations, everybody. Good. Good job. [Applause] Great job, guys.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:58 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to Sen. Lamar Alexander. S. 1086, approved November 19, was assigned Public Law No. 113-186.

Barack Obama, Remarks on Signing the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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