FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 21, 2011
(AUSTIN) — The Texas Senate on Thursday (April 21) unanimously voted to expand Texas parents' access to information about the quality of child care providers.
Senate Bill (SB) 264 by Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, would require local workforce boards to provide parents with information regarding quality child care indicators for each licensed or registered child care provider in the area.
"Access to accurate, timely information about the quality of child care providers is critical to parents making reasoned choices," Senator Zaffirini said. "SB 264 would empower parents and help ensure they are informed consumers."
Senator Zaffirini long has championed enhancing the quality of child care and early childhood education in Texas. In 2003 she passed legislation (SB 23) that created a pilot project for integrated child care programs and developed Texas' school readiness certification system. Her SB 23 (2005) built on the success of the pilot project by expanding the integration model and increasing accountability.
"Quality child care programs can enhance a child's language social skills, relationships with teachers and peers, self-perception and ultimately school-readiness," said Senator Zaffirini, Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee. "What's more, these programs provide a positive long-term economic development impact because they allow parents to re-enter the workforce with the knowledge that their children are prepared for school."
SB 264's supporters include the Texas Association of Business and the National Child Care Coalition.
The bill was sent to the House of Representatives for consideration. The continued progress of this and all bills authored by Senator Zaffirini can be monitored via the internet at www.legis.state.tx.us or by contacting the Texas Legislative Reference Library's toll free in-state hotline, 1-877-824-7038.
SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-LAREDO, is Chair of the Texas Senate Higher Education Committee. She champions legislation and funding that promote quality early childhood education.