Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed Senate amended (06/23/1989)

Act for Better Child Care Services of 1989 - Title I: Child Care Services - Act for Better Child Care - Makes eligible for services under this Act children: (1) who are less than 13 years of age; (2) whose family income does not exceed the State median income for a family of the same size; and (3) who either reside with a parent or parents who are working, seeking employment, or enrolled in a job training or educational program, or reside with a parent or parents not thus described and receive or need to receive protective services.

Authorizes appropriations for: (1) FY 1990 through FY 1994 to carry out this Act generally, with ten percent of such funds for FY 1993 and 1994 earmarked for standards improvement incentive grants; and (2) FY 1990 for the child care liability risk retention group, to remain available through FY 1994.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) to make grants to applicant Indian tribes or tribal organizations for programs and activities under this Act for the benefit of Indian children.

Requires the designation of a lead agency in each State which participates in the program under this Act. Requires the chief executive of a State which has not designated a lead agency to establish a State Child Care Board to fill that role.

Requires States to submit, in order to qualify for assistance under this Act, an application and three-year plan to the Secretary.

Requires the plan to specify that at least 70 percent of the State allotment will be used to provide qualified child care services to eligible children, on a sliding fee scale basis (according to specified funding methods) with priority given to services to children of families with very low incomes for their size.

Requires that child care services provided out of a State allotment be provided by: (1) contracts directly with or direct grants to eligible child care providers; (2) grants to local governments to contract with such providers to provide such services directly; or (3) child care certificates distributed to parents of eligible children to enable them to purchase such services from such providers.

Requires that a specified portion of State allotment funds be used to enable providers to extend the hours of operation of part-day programs to provide full-working-day child care services throughout the year.

Prohibits financial assistance under this Act from being expended for the construction of a new facility, and sets forth limitations on such assistance for renovation or repair of existing facilities.

Authorizes the Secretary to make planning grants, in the first year of their program participation, to States which desire to participate under this Act but cannot fully satisfy the requirements of a State plan without financial assistance.

Provides for a review of the operation of a State plan during the three-year period to determine the State's continued eligibility for funds beyond such period.

Directs the Governor of each participating State to establish, and appoint members of, a State advisory committee on child care to assist the lead agency, review and evaluate services, make recommendations on standards and practices, and perform other functions to improve the quantity and quality of child care services. Requires the committee to have a subcommittee on licensing to review the laws applicable to, and the licensing requirements and policies of, each licensing agency regulating child care services and programs in the State (unless the State has done such a review during the four years before the establishment of the committee). Requires the committee to report to the Governor on specified matters, and the Governor to report to the Secretary with comments and a plan for correcting or improving licensing, regulating, and monitoring of child care services and programs.

Requires States receiving funds under this Act to designate private nonprofit community-based organizations or public organizations, including local governments, as resource and referral agencies for particular areas, and to provide assistance to such agencies.

Requires each participating State to require that all employed or self-employed persons providing licensed or regulated child care complete a minimum number of hours per year of specified training. Permits the State to make grants to, and enter into contracts with, specified entities to provide such training to eligible providers, including family child care providers.

Authorizes participating States to provide scholarship assistance to: (1) individuals who seek a nationally recognized child development associate credential for center-based or family child care; and (2) caregivers who seek to obtain the 40-hour minimum annual training and whose income is not above the poverty line.

Requires States to establish in the lead agency a clearinghouse to collect and disseminate training materials to resource and referral agencies and child care providers.

Provides for child care public-private partnership. Requires participating States to carry out activities designed to encourage businesses to support or provide child care services to a reasonable mix of children of employees and nonemployees, including those from different socioeconomic backgrounds.

Establishes the President's Award for Responsive Management Policy to honor public and private sector employers who have: (1) successfully implemented personnel programs and policies responsive to child care needs of working parents; or (2) made significant contributions to child care projects. Directs the Secretary of Labor to promulgate regulations for annual awards by the President.

Establishes in the Department of Health and Human Services the position of Administrator of Child Care who shall: (1) coordinate all activities of the Department and of other Federal agencies relating to child care; (2) annually collect and publish State child care standards, including periodic modifications; (3) evaluate activities funded under this Act; (4) act as a clearinghouse for specified matters, including studies on salaries of child care workers; and (5) provide technical assistance to States to carry out this Act.

Establishes enforcement provisions for review of State plans and monitoring of State compliance.

Sets the Federal share for funding activities under a State plan at 80 percent.

Requires the Secretary to establish a National Advisory Committee on Recommended Child Care Standards to: (1) review Federal policies on child care services and such other data as appropriate; (2) submit to the Secretary proposed recommended standards for child care programs; and (3) develop and make available to lead agencies model regulations for resource and referral agencies. Prescribes a procedure fo the issuance of such standards. Terminates the Committee 90 days after the Secretary establishes such standards.

Directs the Secretary to establish a program of incentive grants to assist States in improving their child care standards.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a national study on child care standards and report the results to the appropriate congressional committees.

Prohibits financial assistance under this Act from being used for: (1) any sectarian purpose or activity, including sectarian worship and instruction (except where the provider receives funds resulting from distribution of a child care certificate to a parent, or the provider is a relative of the eligible child in certain circumstances); and (2) with regard to services to students in grades one through 12, any services during the regular school day, or for which academic credit is given toward graduation, or which supplant or duplicate a public or private school academic program.

States that financial assistance under this Act constitutes Federal financial assistance for purposes of various civil rights and nondiscrimination laws.

Prohibits a child care provider that receives assistance under this Act from discriminating: (1) against any child on the basis of religion in providing child care services; or (2) in employment on the basis of the religion of the prospective employee if such employee's primary responsibility is or will be working directly with children in the provision of child services. Makes exceptions with respect to non-funded child care slots, two or more qualified applicants for employment, and present employees. Requires specific assurances of such religious nondiscrimination in the case of providers receiving 80 percent or more of their operating budget from assistance under this Act. Provides for the severability of such religious nondiscrimination provisions.

Provides that nothing in this Act shall be construed or applied in any manner to infringe upon or usurp the moral and legal rights and responsibilities of parents or legal guardians.

Authorizes any State to assist in the establishment and operation of a child care liability risk retention group (i.e., a corporation or other limited liability association whose members are child care providers licensed or accredited pursuant to State and local law and standards, and which otherwise satisfies specified criteria for risk retention groups).

Directs the Secretary to make allotments to each State for such child care liability risk retention groups, on the basis of a specified formula.

Amends the Head Start Act to increase the amount of appropriations authorized for FY 1990 for the Head Start program.

Declares that nothing in this Act shall be construed to require the training or licensing of individuals to provide child care to other family members.

Provides for direct allotments of Federal funds to local governments in any fiscal year that a State does not seek or receive assistance under this Act.

Title II: Internal Revenue Code Provisions - Child Care and Health Insurance Act of 1989 - Subtitle A: Tax Credit for Certain Health Insurance Premiums and Child Care and Supplemental Earned Income Credit for Families With Young Children - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to increase the tax by the credit percentage of qualified health insurance premiums credit for expenses for household and dependent care services necessary for gainful employment.

Makes the dependent care and health insurance premium credit refundable for low- and moderate-income taxpayers.

Requires employers to make advance payments of the dependent care credit to eligible employees.

Increases the dependent care credit for low-income taxpayers.

Declares that employment-related expenses or qualifying health insurance expenses that are subsidized by Federal, State, or local government are not eligible for the tax credit.

Allows a supplemental earned income credit for individuals with one or more children under age four.

Requires the Comptroller General to report to the appropriate congressional committees on a study of the effectiveness and complexity of the advance payment system.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury to establish a taxpayer awareness program to inform the public of the availability of the credit for dependent care and health insurance premiums.

Authorizes appropriations for FY 1990 through 1994 for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct demonstration projects to extend health insurance to children and their families who are not covered by public or private health programs.

Subtitle B: Employee Benefit Nondiscrimination Rules - Amends the Tax Reform Act of 1986 to delay until 1990 the effective date of the nondiscrimination requirements for benefits provided under certain employee benefit plans.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to revise such (section 89) nondiscrimination requirements by requiring the taxation of the excess health benefits of a highly compensated employee. Excludes from such requirements certain students, certain elderly, prisoners, certain church employees, and five-percent owners with an adjusted gross income of under $30,000.

Imposes an excise tax on employers or employer plans if an employee benefit plan fails to satisfy certain administrative requirements.

Restores prior law with resepct to nondiscrimination requirements of group-term life insurance plans.

Authorizes an employer to elect to use current nondiscrimination rules for years beginning 1990 or 1991 as they apply to health plans and dependent care assistance programs.

Delays the application of section 89 to small employers until January 1, 1991. Directs the Secretary of the Treasury (or a delegate) to study whether discrimination in favor of highly compensated employees occurs in the providing of employee benefits by small employers. Requires a report on such study to specified congressional committees by July 1, 1990.

Directs the Secretary of the Treasury (or a delegate) to issue compliance guidance with respect to section 89 by January 1, 1990.

Revises provisions relating to the nontaxable benefits of employers of leased employees, the dependent care assistance program, and group-term life insurance provided to highly compensated employees.

Directs the United States Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care to study the implementation and effectiveness of (section 89) nondiscrimination requirements.

Subtitle C: Other Revenue Provisions - Makes the telephone excise tax permanent. Specifies the time for the deposit of such taxes. Requires certain persons who are exempt from such tax to file a one-time exemption certificate.

Requires an S corporation to make estimated tax payments if it has tax attributable to: (1) the recognition of certain build-in gains; (2) the realization of excess passive income; and (3) the recapture of certain investment tax credits.

Title III: Social Security Act Amendments - Amends title II (Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance) the Social Security Act to increase from $8,800 to $10,560 the amount of earnings exempt from the retirement test and its attendant benefits reductions. Lowers the rate of benefit reductions for earnings above the exempt amount from 50 percent to 25 percent. Revises the effective dates of certain benefits recomputations. Provides for payment of retroactive benefits as an increase in monthly benefit amounts.

Directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services, beginning with FY 1991, to provide every eligible individual upon request a social security account statement with information on wages, insurance contributions, and potential benefits. Requires the Secretary: (1) by September 30, 1994, to provide such a statement to every eligible individual who attained age 60 by October 1, 1993, who is not yet receiving old age, survivors and disability (OASDI) benefits; (2) in FY 1994 through 1999 to provide such a statement to every eligible individual reaching age 60 during those fiscal years who is not yet receiving OASDI benefits; and (3) beginning by FY 2000 to provide such a statement to every eligible individual biennially. Limits this statement provision requirement to individuals whose mailing address can be determined. Requires a report to the Congress by October 1, 1996, on the implementation of these requirements.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to authorize the Secretary of the Treasury, upon written request, to disclose to the Commissioner of Social Security the mailing address of any taxpayer entitled to receive social security benefits.

Amends the Social Security Act to exempt child-care earnings for services performed by an individual after he or she becomes entitled to OASDI benefits from wages and self-employment income subject to the excess earnings test.

Title IV: General Provisions - Declares that it is the sense of the Congress that $10,000,000 should be appropriated in FY 1990 for special child care assistance for low-income students.

Amends Federal law to establish a fine of up to $1,000 or a prison sentence of up to one year, or both, for anyone who knowingly and publicly mutilates, defaces, burns, displays on the floor or ground, or tramples upon any flag of the United States.