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Overhaul of child care centers proposed

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials proposed Thursday to overhaul 500,000 child care centers across the country, beefing up safety standards including background and fingerprint checks for employees and requiring states to better monitor the facilities.

Roughly 1.6 million US children attend child care centers on subsidies — paid in the form of vouchers to families — from the federal government.

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But health, safety, and program quality requirements for those facilities vary widely.

The rules would increase accountability and aim to improve transparency so parents know more about the facility their children attend.

States would have to comply with the standards to receive funds.

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