Child care has grown and changed over the past four decades. The federal government now has two major early education programs, Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant. Although Head Start was enacted in 1965 and has had mostly bipartisan support, it took the federal government until 1990 to enact a national child care program. Massachusetts, led by an active advocacy community and strong leadership in the state legislature, has been a leader among states in support for child care funding and policies. It is its support for strong licensing, periodic increases in reimbursement rates, parental choice, and innovative approaches to a more comprehensive system of early care and education over the past four decades that have made the state a leader.



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