Years ago, James M. Poole, M.D., FAAP, graphically learned the importance of adequate child care when he was chief of pediatrics in an Army hospital in Germany. When he discovered the child care center had lead paint, Dr. Poole immediately closed the center. The next morning, the head of European command, General Becton, called to let him know that by closing the Army's child care facility, he had "single-handedly shut down the Army" since no one could report to work.

Dr. Poole told that story during his July 17 testimony before the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources to underscore the importance of child care for families and our country. Nearly 13 million infants, toddlers and preschoolers are enrolled in out-of-home child care settings for at least part of the day or week, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

"Child care should provide support for the family because these settings are essentially an extension of the family," stated Dr. Poole, who is a member of the AAP Committee on Early Childhood, Adoption and Dependent Care.

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