U.S. senators approved a bipartisan bill to renew a federal grant program to provide low-income families with money for child care with a 97-1 vote on Thursday.

The Child Care and Development Block Grant program, which receives roughly $5.3 billion in federal funds, plus state matching grants, hasn’t been evaluated since 1996, said Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., according to a story by Education Week. The new version of the program approved in today’s bill will not change the number of children served, but will require states to hold child care providers that accept federal dollars to higher safety and quality standards.

Read the Education Week story or read the official summary of the bill.

Lillian Mongeau covers early childhood education. Contact her or follow her @lrmongeau.

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