The Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday it will, for the first time, impose tough national health and safety standards for all child care facilities that accept government subsidies.

Under the proposed rule, states, territories and tribes would be required to strengthen their standards to better promote the health, safety and school readiness of children in federally funded child care. That means universal background checks and fingerprinting of child care workers, and required safety and health training, such as CPR and first aid training. Workers also will be required to comply with applicable state and local fire, health and building codes.

The rule would only apply directly to child care providers who accept Child Care and Development Fund funds. More than 500,000 providers serve about 1.6 million low-income children through CCDF.

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