The mission of National Indian Child Care Association is to unify tribes and tribal organizations to promote high quality culturally relevant child care and development. National Indian Child Care Association will provide leadership, support, and communication on behalf of Native American children, families, and communities.
The National Indian Child Care Association is the recognized representative body of the Tribal Child Care and Development Fund Grantees. The Association was developed in 1993 to provide information, support, coordination, and advocacy for Tribal child care. Two hundred sixty Tribes and Tribal organizations received Child Care and Development Funds in FY 2008. The Child Care and Development Block Grant is the single largest program authorized under the Personal Responsibilities and Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) affecting Tribal governments. Participation in the Child Care and Development Fund allows Tribal governments the opportunity to design, implement, and support programs which are beneficial to the unique needs of our Tribal citizens. Child care is an important support service to assist Indian families in becoming self sufficient through education, training, and employment. Child care is an important component of economic development planning in Tribal communities. Jobs that are created cannot be filled without the support of child care services. The risk factors in Tribal communities for children such as poverty, low birth weight, unemployment, and the educational attainment of mother contribute to the need for investment in quality child care. This document sets forth four major goals for reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Fund which have been adopted by the Association.
Issue # 1
Tribes must continue to receive direct funding from the federal government for child care services.
Issue # 2
The number of Tribal child care programs receiving funding through the Child Care and Development Fund has increased. The percent of set aside for Tribes is currently two percent of the funding for the CCDF and has remained the same although services rendered by Tribal child care programs have significantly increased. Increased funding to a five percent set-aside to Tribes is necessary to meet the child care needs of Tribal citizens.
Issue # 3
Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations should develop minimum Health and Safety Standards to be implemented by Tribal programs.
Tribes are sovereign governments and should have direct access to administer the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) through the funds made available to State Agencies. The Department of Agriculture should establish a taskforce to review and make recommendatoins regarding the implementation of CACFP in Indian Communities.
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