The latest issue of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE) Outlook reports Congress is poised to expand child care options for parents.

S. 1086 reauthorizes the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and was approved by the Senate last month. The House is expected to vote on it next month. Included in the bill is a provision that allows parents to use certificates to purchase the early education and child care services they think are best for their children. Importantly, parents are empowered to use child care certificates to purchase services from any kind of provider they prefer—including private and faith-based providers.

CAPE reports that parents of children under age 13 will now have more expansive options for quality care while they work or return to school. Specifically, the parents of some 1.5 million children can now choose child care provided by government centers, faith-based organizations, or relatives. Importantly, most of the families who would benefit are low-income, and as more than one in five prefer home or relative-based care.

Options for parents level the playing field and recognize the sacrifices of parents who choose to have a spouse or relative care for their young children. This is a far better approach than a one-size-fits-all approach that is costly and ineffective.