Child Care Aware® of America, the nation’s leading voice for child care, announced the release of the 2016 State Fact Sheets, which profile child care indicators across all 50 states. This annual report compiles data from local and state child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs), other state agencies, and other federal and national data sets to report on the use, supply, and cost of child care, the child care workforce, and the services provided by CCR&Rs.
Over the past several years, Child Care Aware® of America has surveyed and conducted focus groups with parents of young children, grandparents, national child advocacy organizations, and state and local CCR&Rs. Those conversations underscored that child care is an essential building block of any community and that investments in child care are investments in our children, our economy, and our future. From, our work we have repeatedly confirmed that:
- child care is expensive,
- child care is both a workforce support and an important early learning setting,
- quality of care varies widely,
- child care providers need to receive adequate training,
- child care providers should be paid at least livable wages, and
- child care needs to be accessible to diverse populations reflecting the children, families, and communities they serve.
“Our state fact sheets offer the child care advocacy community the opportunity to identify state issue areas that are critical to supporting working families in need of quality child care.” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., Executive Director of Child Care Aware® of America.
Quality, affordable early childhood programs across the nation are both difficult to find and afford. Through the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act (CCDBG), state programs are now tasked with increasing the quality of their programs; however, there is still much work to be done.
The 2016 State Fact Sheets provide data critical to child care and early education advocates, policymakers, and program administrators. The fact sheets can help the child care stakeholder community with the necessary data to better understand the challenges that America’s working families face as they strive to provide their children with care that is safe, healthy, and promotes quality learning and development. The fact sheets will be used to guide decisions around child care programs and expenditures at the state level.
To download a copy of the 2016 State Fact Sheets, visit http://usa.childcareaware.org/statefactsheets.