The NPRM is the acronym for "Notice of Proposed Rule Making." This is a standard part of the process for creating and changing federal regulations. Prior to a final regulation that we all must follow, the federal agencies create a proposed rule for the public at large to comment on. Another time you might have heard of this is during the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) proposed rule for updating the meal pattern requirements earlier this year.
The reason this is relevant to child care providers and parents is because of the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). CCDBG was signed into law in 2014 and this NPRM makes the rules for implementing and putting into action what is in the bill. Now, just to confuse things a little bit more - if you take a look at the NPRM it says it is the NPRM for the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF).
You're saying but wait! You said this is for the CCDBG, not CCDF ... and to that I would say you are right. CCDBG and CCDF are one in the same. CCDBG is the name of the law and CCDF is the name that agencies, Administration for Children and Families (ACF), use to administer the law.
The proposed rule is hundreds of pages and comments close on February 22nd. Several national organizations have written letters supporting the proposed rule and providing suggestions for clarity or other concerns. You can find a few of those letters below. Reading through the letters, gives you a good idea of what is in the law and how organizations consider possible complications in implementing particular parts of it.
Back to - "Why Should You Care?" The more you know about what is being discussed at the Federal level, the easier it will be for you to engage with your representatives at the state and local level as you help them successfully implement this new rule. Even if you have no intention of taking part in having a voice, you'll be better prepared to do what you have to when the new regulations are official.
For Your Information
- The Rule Itself
- Map of the Federal Rule Making Process
- CCDBG Update and other Announcements (Blog Post from January which has links to even more information about the rule)
- CCDBG Informational Resources from the Office of Child Care, An Office of the Administration for Children and Families
Comment Letters from Organizations
This is not representative of all comments provided by national organizations but a few to understand what's being said and how it all works.
- Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)/ National Women's Law Center (NWLC)
- National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
- Child Care Aware of America
- National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
- All Comments on the Rule
Any questions? Let me know and maybe I can help you find the answer!
*Edited on February 24 to add NAFCC's Sign on Letter