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Study Ranks Best, Worst States in Child Care Practices

Today, the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies released its third annual state-by-state report on child care licensing and oversight. The report uses 15 benchmarks based on U.S. Department of Health and Human Services criteria to rank all 50 states plus the U.S. Department of Defense and Washington, D.C. While slight progress has been made overall in the regulation and monitoring of child care centers, 26 states still earned a failing grade.

Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, and the Defense Department scored high in requirements for both licensing and center oversight. California scored low on both measures. Five states—Connecticut, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Vermont—scored high on requirements but low on oversight. You can see top- and bottom-10 rankings here.

The report also includes policy recommendations, especially for the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) program to increase pressure on states to strengthen their child care licensing requirements and monitor centers more frequently to ensure compliance.

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