NEWS RELEASE
From the Office of State Senator Rodney Ellis

For Immediate Release
April 10, 1997
Contact: Rick Svataro, (512) 463-0113

Senator Ellis Wins Senate Approval for a State Child-Care Consumer Guide.

AUSTIN, Tx. -- State Senator Rodney Ellis (D-Houston) today won unanimous approval from the Texas Senate for legislation (Senate Bill 1112) creating a comprehensive child-care consumer guide for Texas parents. According to Ellis, the legislation would direct the Comptroller of Public Accounts to work with state agencies, child-care experts, consumers and others to develop a comprehensive child-care guide to help parents make informed choices regarding available child-care services in Texas.

"Reliable child care supports parents in the workplace, expands opportunities for children and helps build a stronger economy," said Ellis. "A comprehensive child-care guide will help working parents make smart child-care choices and help ensure that our children receive the best possible child-care services."

According to Ellis, 2.8 million Texas children under the age of 18 have both parents -- or their only parent -- in the workforce. By the year 2000, 70% of preschool-age children will have working mothers.

"Parents seeking reliable, safe and convenient child care often find it difficult to locate useful information to guide their decisions," Ellis said. "Many parents are forced to make this important decision based on word of mouth or the simple availability of an opening. Texas must have a statewide strategy to deliver comprehensive consumer information to parents about child-care services."

Overview of the Texas Child-Care Guide (SB 1112):

Directs the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts to work with other state agencies, child-care experts, resource and referral agencies, members of the business community and child-care consumers to develop and periodically update a comprehensive child-care guide designed to assist child-care consumers in making informed choices regarding available child-care services.

The Child-Care Guide will contain consumer information on child-care services, early childhood development, child care for children with disabilities, training opportunities in the child-care profession, child-care financing options, technical assistance for child-care service providers and other relevant topics as determined by the advisory group.

The Child-Care Guide will be available on the Internet and in electronic format.

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