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Bipartisan Early Childhood Nutrition Law to Provide Nutritious Meals to Children in Need

HR 3886 would strengthen an existing federal program that reimburses child care centers for serving nutritious meals to kids.

Every new parent knows how important nutritious snacks and meals are for young children. And that's true whether you're trying to get those healthy calories down the hatch yourself or your childcare provider is doing it. That's why Common Sense Kids Action is strongly supporting a new bipartisan bill that would boost the quality and quantity of snacks and meals at childcare centers for low-income kids.

The Early Childhood Nutrition Improvement Act (HR 3886), a bipartisan bill introduced in November by congresswomen Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon and Elise Stefanik of New York, would strengthen an existing federal program that reimburses childcare centers for serving nutritious meals to kids.

Currently, more than 3.8 million children benefit from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). Though 3.8 million sounds like a lot of kids, that number should actually be much higher. Right now, the program's requirements and paperwork make it hard for some childcare centers to comply. Plus, childcare providers can only be reimbursed for serving two meals and a snack each day, even though many hard-working parents rely on childcare for full-day service, and their children need another meal.

This bill would:

  • Increase nutrition by allowing childcare providers the option of serving an additional meal (or snack) during the day;
  • Help small-business owners by reducing paperwork;
  • And cover more children by making it easier for childcare providers to comply with the program.

We applaud Rep. Bonamici, a Democrat, and Rep. Stefanik, a Republican, for working together to invest early in young children's lives.

To help Common Sense Kids Action ensure that kids of all backgrounds have access to high-quality early childhood education, sign up today to be a Kids Action Advocate.

Susannah Savage