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Vroom Ambassador: Providing Tools to Serve Families and Partners

By Guest Blogger on October 17, 2019

The Child Care Resource Network (TCCRN) is the child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency housed within Right Steps Child Development Centers. We provide services to family, ECE and OST programs, and the communities of 12 counties in northwest Indiana. TCCRN, in partnership with Right Steps Child Development Centers, was selected as one of ten child care resource and referral agencies in the nation to serve as a Vroom Ambassador. As a selected agency, we have strategically embedded Vroom brain-building tips and materials into our local community.

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Vroom Ambassador: Vroom Continues in Florida

By Guest Blogger on October 11, 2019

As one of the first ambassadors in the cadre of Vroom Ambassadors for Child Care Aware® of America, the Office of Early Learning (OEL) continues to promote Vroom throughout the state of Florida. Vroom is such a unique resource for families that it is easy to connect Vroom to many other initiatives promoted by our agency and our partners. It has become routine to include links or references to Vroom in many of our projects and plans and to encourage the 30 early learning coalitions within the state to do so. Vroom is routinely referenced in the Family Engagement Plans for the early learning coalitions and included as a staple in presentations and events at conferences and events with partners.

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Celebrate Children’s Environmental Health Day!

By Jessica Rose-Malm on October 10, 2019

At Child Care Aware® of America, we believe that all children deserve clean air, clean water, safe food and products, and healthy places to live, learn and play. That’s why we’re partnering with the Children’s Environmental Health Network and dozens of partners around the country to celebrate Children’s Environmental Health Day today. Alongside our partners, we’re using this day to raise awareness of children’s health issues, celebrate successes, share exciting new initiatives and look ahead to challenges and opportunities for creating healthier spaces for children to live, learn and play.

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Research Round Up: Mental and Behavioral Health

By Jessica Rose-Malm on October 9, 2019

Positive Childhood Experiences and Adult Mental and Relational Health in a Statewide Sample: Associations Across Adverse Childhood Experiences Levels 
Bethell, C., Jones, J., and Gombojav, N. JAMA Pediatrics (September 2019). 

Background: Past research has linked adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) – e.g., divorce, abuse, domestic violence – to greater risks for poor mental health and fewer supportive relationships in adulthood. This study looks at whether positive childhood experiences (PCEssuch as a sense of belonging at school, or feeling safe and protected by an adult at home are linked with better mental health in adulthood and whether PCEs can reduce some of the negative effects of ACEs. 

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Health Resource Spotlight: Safety in Early Care and Education

By Laurie Rackas on October 8, 2019

 

The problem

Keeping young children safe is a priority for child care providers. But safety practices vary, depending on a child’s age and developmental stage. Keeping an infant safe can be very different than keeping a toddler safe.

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Research Round Up: Obesity Prevention

By Jessica Rose-Malm on October 7, 2019

Multisector Approach to Improve Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Policies and Practices in Early Care and Education Programs: The National Early Care and Education Learning Collaboratives Project, 2013–2017 

Garvin, T.M., Weissenburger-Moser Boyd, L., Chiappone, A., Blaser, C., Story, M., Gertel-Rosenberg, A., Shuell, J., Chang, D., Ward, D., Plumlee, C., Beets, M., and Yaroch, A.L. Preventing Chronic Disease (July 2019). 

Background: Children begin building healthy eating and physical activity habits early in life, making early care and education (ECE) settings a promising place to promote best practices in nutrition and physical activity. The National Early Care and Education Learning Collaborative Project (ECELC) brought an intensive training, technical assistance and peer learning program to child care programs in ten states over five years. This study looks at how effective that program was in improving best practices in child care. 

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Vroom Ambassador: Vroom and Child Care Aware of Kansas

By Guest Blogger on October 4, 2019

Child Care Aware of Kansas (CCAKS) is the statewide administrator of the Child Care Resource and Referral network in Kansas. As a managing state agency we are proud to serve 105 counties, ranging from frontier to urban populations, alongside our partnering agencies: Child Start, The Family Conservancy and Child Care Aware of Eastern Kansas. Our aim is to ensure families across Kansas have access to affordable high quality child care, support professional development for early learning staff and advocate for positive changes to impact the lives of children and families. Our partnership with Vroom has given us the opportunity to strengthen our initiatives by supporting early learning and engagement for families, providers and communities.

What's Vroom?

Vroom provides interactive tools and resources that highlight the science behind early brain development, showing parents how they can turn everyday activities like bath time and meal time into opportunities that build their children’s brains. The Vroom Partnership at Child Care Aware® of America is made up of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies who educate and provide Vroom resources to families, providers, and organizations in their communities so they too understand the importance of brain development during the first five years of life. Learn more about Vroom here.

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Vroom Ambassador: The Children's Cabinet

By Guest Blogger on September 27, 2019

Since 1985, The Children’s Cabinet’s mission has been to keep children safe and families together by providing services and resources that address unmet needs through a unique and effective cooperative effort between the private sector and public agencies in Nevada. By offering a wide range of community programs, the goal of the agency’s founders was to create a lasting public/private partnership to address the needs of children and their families in our community.

Being a Vroom Ambassador has been beneficial to our staff, child care providers and parents as well as to our 50 plus community partners who are also sharing Vroom messaging and materials with their clients.  

What's Vroom?

Vroom provides interactive tools and resources that highlight the science behind early brain development, showing parents how they can turn everyday activities like bath time and meal time into opportunities that build their children’s brains. The Vroom Partnership at Child Care Aware® of America is made up of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies who educate and provide Vroom resources to families, providers, and organizations in their communities so they too understand the importance of brain development during the first five years of life. Learn more about Vroom here.

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Changes to the Scope of Public Charge Rules

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on September 23, 2019

As you may know, on August 14 the Department of Homeland Security posted a change to expand the scope of existing public charge rules. This change will allow the federal government to deny green cards to lawfully present immigrants who use, or are likely to use, Medicaid (with exceptions for children under 21 and pregnant women), SNAP, federal housing assistance and TANF cash benefits, effectively forcing them to choose between getting a green card or utilizing federal programs.

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Understanding Policies for Sick Children in Child Care

By Kati Wilkins on September 19, 2019

This Monday, September 16, The New York Times ran an op-ed highlighting the importance of rational inclusion and exclusion policies for sick children in early childhood education settings. We at Child Care Aware® of America are excited that this important issue is getting attention, and thank the Times for underscoring the ramifications of inclusion and exclusion policies that are overly cautious and require children to see a doctor for many minor illnesses that do not warrant a doctor’s office visit.

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Health Resource Spotlight: How Providers Serve Families With Different Languages

By Laurie Rackas on September 12, 2019

 

The problem: Many child care programs serve families whose native language is different than the provider’s. Communication on routine matters can be problematic, so how can providers share information with families on more complicated issues like early brain development or toxic stress?

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What's a Healthy Transition from Child Care to School Look Like?

By Adina Young on September 12, 2019

For many families across the country, their little ones are going to school for the first time. Whether starting a brand new routine after being cared for in a home-based setting or if care was provided in a child care center, going to “big-kid school” is a big deal!

It is a lot of change and some of the changes can have an impact on a child’s health, for instance, the amount of active play time and the kind of meals being served.

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Infographic: Family Voices Driving Quality Child Care Choices

By Liz Twilley on September 9, 2019

In our recent paper, Family Voices: Driving Quality Child Care Choices, we examined the child care needs of families facing vulnerabilities (low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, families with children with special needs, etc.), and how they find the child care that fits their needs. Our infographic below shows many  of the findings at a glance. 

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The 4 Steps of Finding a Child Care Provider

By Rae Pickett on September 6, 2019

Finding the right child care provider for your family is a personal choice, and not one that can be outsourced very easily. Child Care Aware® of America Executive Director Lynette Fraga, PhD, spoke with Scott MacFarlane of NBC Washington about some specific questions parents can ask, ways to assess your unique family needs and how to understand and develop an ongoing relationship with your child care provider. Watch the clip below.

Topics: Parenting News
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How Underserved Families Are Finding Child Care

By Meghan Cornwell on September 5, 2019



Every week in the United States, nearly 11 million children younger than age 5 are in some type of child care. All families benefit from having high-quality and affordable child care options, but finding such care can be challenging, especially for families facing adverse situations. Families with low incomes, or who are otherwise vulnerable, experience significant barriers that limit their child care options.

Today, Child Care Aware® of America released Family Voices Driving Quality Child Care Choices, a report on findings and recommendations from a survey of families's need when it comes to child care and how they find such care, both in-person and online.

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New Report Reveals How And Where Families Find and Access Child Care

By Rae Pickett on September 4, 2019

Families and field professionals shared accounts that can influence strategies for child care system professionals to meet and engage with families more effectively and efficiently.

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) released Family Voices Driving Quality Child Care Choices, a report on findings and recommendations from a survey of families on the contemporary child care needs of diverse, vulnerable, underserved families and clarifies where they turn, both in-person and online, to meet their child care information needs. Choosing child care is one of the most difficult decisions families make. Families and field professionals shared with CCAoA in focus groups, an online parent poll and key informant interviews, accounts that can influence strategies for child care system professionals to meet and engage with families more effectively and efficiently.

Topics: News
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Vroom Ambassador: Child Care Aware of Northwest Arkansas

By Guest Blogger on September 3, 2019

Vroom has added value to the family and community engagement efforts of Child Care Aware of Northwest Arkansas (NWA), as it has reinforced our training on brain development. Most parents are happy to learn that they already “have what it takes” to help their children’s brain development. Here's how we've used Vroom tips as conversation starters throughout the community and in our training workshops. 

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Minimizing Lead Exposure in Child Care

By Jessica Rose-Malm on August 29, 2019

When the Flint, MI water crisis hit the news in 2015, people around the world took notice. Hundreds of children across Flint had alarmingly high blood lead levels. Many still do. The problem was quickly traced back to lead contamination in the city’s water supply. The water that Flint’s families and caregivers used to cook, drink and bathe in was poisoning their children. 

Now a new water crisis is making news, this time in Newark, NJ. Once again, families in a major U.S. city are being poisoned by lead in their environment. Newark is in the news now, but children’s blood lead levels in places like Milwaukee, Baltimore and Philadelphia are actually much higher than in Flint.  And the children most in danger of lead poisoning are children from families with low incomes and children of color. 

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Understanding When and Why Sick Kids Should Stay Home

By Kati Wilkins on August 27, 2019


Parents rely on child care so they can go to work, and many are left scrambling when their child gets sick. Providers have more than one child to care for, so they have to make tough decisions about whether to allow a sick child to come and risk the health of other children. That’s why it is important that child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies and child care health consultants work with providers to develop easy to understand Inclusion and Exclusion policies that define when a child is too sick to be in child care, and when they can stay in care.

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Teach Digital Literacy, Not Just Technology Use

By Guest Blogger on August 22, 2019

As NAEYC stated in a policy statement issued on January 2012, “technology and interactive media are here to stay.” However, there remain many questions as to whether technology use with children in early childhood settings is beneficial or harmful to their development.

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Taking Care of Young Children is Messy Business!

By Kati Wilkins on August 20, 2019


Taking care of young children is messy business! Between diaper changes, runny noses and regular play time, providers are always thinking about sanitation in order to keep their children and themselves from getting sick.

Sanitation practices are woven throughout a lot of different parts of a child care provider’s day, from making sure the center or home is clean and sanitary, to food handling and diaper changing. Every part of the day requires different steps and procedures for effective cleaning.

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Family Voices: Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention and Response

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on August 19, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America stands alongside families, providers, and the public in our shared commitment to the safety and well-being of children in child care. In 2016, an estimated 676,000 children in the United States were victims of neglect or abuse. A fraction of that total (2,104) involved a child care provider. That’s unacceptable and a legitimate cause for concern among families and the general public. In the story below, Amber shares just one story of how her family impacted by one of these cases.
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CCAoA Member Exclusive: Trauma Informed Resources from Sesame Street in Communities!

By Sara Diamond on August 15, 2019

For more than 50 years, Sesame Street has worked to build stronger, smarter and kinder communities. Now, they’re coming to your neighborhood. Sesame Street in Communities, together with Child Care Aware® of America, is excited to provide free resources for parents and providers working to get every child in their lives school ready. We are recruiting Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) staff serving families and providers to participate in one of two cohorts that use Sesame resources for school readiness. CCAoA Members can sign up to participate today! 

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Helping Caregivers Understand Immunization Requirements

By Kati Wilkins on August 14, 2019


As older kids go back to school and as younger children switch child care, August is National Immunization Awareness month. This is a great time for CCR&Rs to get ready to answer questions parents might have about why immunizations are important and inform them of their state or local immunization requirements. There has been a lot of news lately about the measles outbreak, and this has led to a wider conversation about vaccine requirements at child care centers and homes.

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Vroom Ambassador: Collaborating With Vroom in North Carolina

By Guest Blogger on August 13, 2019

Collaborating with Vroom has been exciting and informative here at the Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. We are the child care resource and referral agency serving the nine counties of Alleghany, Ashe, Davidson, Davie, Forsyth, Stokes, Surry, Wilkes and Yadkin.

Over the past several months, as a Vroom Ambassador, CCRC had the opportunity to show parents, teachers and caregivers how easy it is to help children learn using everyday activities they are already doing. CCRC has used many opportunities to share Vroom with families, teachers and caregivers including:

  • Community outreach events  
  • Professional development classes 
  • Referral packets                                                  
  • Toolkits for providers
  • Birthing centers
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Why August is This Year’s Most Crucial Month for Advocacy

By Jacob Stewart on August 12, 2019

As the last full month of summer, August is usually filled with vacations and back-to-school planning. This August, however, will also be 2019’s most crucial month for child care advocacy. Here’s why:  

Last month, immediately before their August recess, Congress finally approved a deal to raise the spending caps through FY2021. Under this deal, non-defense discretionary funding—the budget category that funds a wide array of programs—will receive an increase of $56.2 billion over two years from FY2019 levels.  This was an important first step for securing increased federal investments in child care and early learning programs such as CCDBG and Head Start. 

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Helping Your Child Go Places Through Literacy

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on August 8, 2019

All parents want their children to be able to read, write and speak well, but it won't happen overnight. Literacy starts at birth and grows over many years.

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Ayudando a Su Hijo a Ampliar Sus Fronteras con el Alfabetismo

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on August 8, 2019

Todo padre quiere que sus hijos sepan leer, escribir y hablar bien. Pero esto no sucederá de la noche a la mañana. El alfabetismo comienza con el nacimiento de su hijo y va creciendo.

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Family Voices: Harper's Story - Tragedy  Outside a Provider's Home

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on August 8, 2019

Harper was a typical toddler full of love, laughs and life, when a tragic event happened outside the home of her family child care provider in the summer of 2016. In the video below, Harper’s mother, Whitney, shares her story and what she hopes parents and providers will do to keep children safe. 

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Helping Child Care Providers Understand The Measles Immunizations

By Kati Wilkins on August 7, 2019



It’s August, which means it is
National Immunization Awareness month. It’s never been more important to talk about immunizations than now. Already in August, there have already been 1,164 cases of measles across the United States this year. That’s more than any single year since 1994. About one-quarter of this year’s cases have affected children under age five. And nine times out of ten, the person who got sick was either unvaccinated or unsure if they were vaccinated.

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Coming Soon! The Child Care Data Center

By Rae Pickett on August 5, 2019

We are excited to announce that Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is partnering with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) at the University of Chicago to build a website that compiles and standardizes child care data from across the nation. This effort will ensure that child care systems, policies and funding decisions are based on reliable data.

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Child Care Aware® of America and NORC at the University of Chicago to Build Child Care Data Center

By Meghan Cornwell on August 1, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America and NORC at the University of Chicago to Build Child Care Data Center

New website will address access to reliable, standardized data about child care in the United States

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Family Voices: Reflections from a Child Care Advocate, Sosha Chaney

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on August 1, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America had the opportunity to sit down with Sosha Chaney, a vocal child care advocate, as she shared her journey. Sosha is especially passionate about improving:

  • Access to reliable, education-based child care for families working non-traditional hours
  • Affordable, high-quality child care options
  • Funding and support for early childhood programs
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Vroom Ambassador: Family Connections Montana Strengthening Family Engagement

By Guest Blogger on July 30, 2019

Vroom provides interactive tools and resources that highlight the science behind early brain development, showing parents how they can turn everyday activities like bath time and meal time into opportunities that build their children’s brains. The Vroom Partnership at Child Care Aware® of America is made up of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies who educate and provide Vroom resources to families, providers, and organizations in their communities so they too understand the importance of brain development during the first five years of life. Learn more about Vroom here.

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Food And Fitness - Making Healthy Habits A Family Affair

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on July 25, 2019

Eating and exercise habits are learned. Children aren't born knowing what is "good" for them. Children watch and do what their parents and siblings do. They want to eat what everyone else eats, and want to do what they see their family members doing. By helping children choose and learn to love healthy foods and exercise, parents provide the foundation for lifelong fitness.

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Alimentación y Salud

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on July 25, 2019

Los hábitos relacionados con la alimentación y el ejercicio se aprenden. Los niños no nacen sabiendo lo que es “bueno” para ellos. Los niños observan y hacen lo que hacen sus padres y sus hermanos. Quieren comer lo que todos los demás comen, y quieren hacer lo que ven hacer a los otros miembros de la familia.

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Vroom Ambassador: You Already Have What it Takes!

By Guest Blogger on July 23, 2019

Vroom provides interactive tools and resources that highlight the science behind early brain development, showing parents how they can turn everyday activities like bath time and meal time into opportunities that build their children’s brains. The Vroom Partnership at Child Care Aware® of America is made up of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies who educate and provide Vroom resources to families, providers, and organizations in their communities so they too understand the importance of brain development during the first five years of life. Learn more about Vroom here.

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Social Emotional Health and the Child Care Workforce

By Laurie Rackas on July 22, 2019



In the first three blogs of this series, we explored topics related to the social-emotional health of children. CCAoA believes that in quality child care programs, the health and safety of providers and staff is equally important. In this final blog, we address the social-emotional health of these essential caregivers. 

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Family Voices: Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies Are Here For You

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on July 18, 2019

The end of summer is a busy time for families seeking child care. Prepare yourself by watching  this video describing what families and child care resource and referral (CCR&R) professionals, from around the nation, have to say about child care assistance available in your community.

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Supporting Breastfeeding Infants During an Emergency

By Guest Blogger on July 17, 2019

Guest Blog Post by Kris Nicholson, Child Care Aware of Kansas and Brenda Bandy, Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition

Being prepared for an emergency is top priority for many including those in the child care field. The Kansas Breastfeeding Coalition Child Care Section recently discovered a gap in information for what to do when a breastfeeding infant is in a child care program when an emergency occurs. 

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Digital Content for Your Summer Outreach!

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on July 15, 2019

Children’s learning never takes a vacation.  Just in time for summer, Child Care Aware® of America’s SMART Suite has been refreshed with new digital content that CCR&Rs can easily share with families and early care and education providers.

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Trauma-Informed Care

By Laurie Rackas on July 15, 2019



When we talk about health and safety in child care, the discussion is often on reducing or eliminating physical threats to children’s well-being (e.g., unsafe playground equipment of the spread of an infectious disease). CCAoA believes that quality child care helps build healthy children, including their healthy social and emotional development. But what about children who have experienced trauma? How can the child care environment help them heal? This is the third of four blogs CCAoA is publishing on social-emotional health. 

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Nearby, Faraway, and Raising Grandchildren

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on July 11, 2019

Whether it's "grandma," "granny," "nana," "bubbe," "abuela," or "gramps," "pop-pop," or "g-pa," a grandparent can make a real difference in a child's life. In all ethnicities, cultures, and walks of life, grandparents are the link to a family's culture, history, and traditions. Children fortunate enough to have loving grandparents in their lives have a powerful emotional bond to nurture and sustain them.
  • 4.5 million children under the age of 18 are being raised in households headed by grandparents.
  • About 15% of grandparents provide some level of child care for their grandchildren - up from 8% in 1998.
  • About half the grandparents help pay for their grandchildren's education, while 45% say they assist with living expenses.
  • Almost 70% of surveyed grandparents responding to an AARP survey reported that they see their grandchildren at least once every week or two, and one-quarter spend time with them at least once every few months.
  • The average grandparent spends about $500 a year on their grandchildren, but two out of five spend between $500 and $2,500.

Whether it's "grandma," "granny," "nana," "bubbe," "abuela," or "gramps," "pop-pop," or "g-pa," a grandparent can make a real difference in a child's life. In all ethnicities, cultures, and walks of life, grandparents are the link to a family's culture, history, and traditions. Children fortunate enough to have loving grandparents in their lives have a powerful emotional bond to nurture and sustain them.

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Los Abuelos - Cercanos, Lejanos y Criando Nietos

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on July 11, 2019

No importa que se le diga "abuela," "abuelita," "nana," o "mamabuela," o "abuelo," "abuelito," "tata," o "papabuelo," un abuelo puede hacer una diferencia sustancial en la vida de un niño. En todas las etnicidades, culturas y sociedades, los abuelos son el vínculo con la cultura, historia y tradiciones de la familia. Los niños que tienen la buena fortuna de tener abuelos cariñosos en sus vidas cuentan con un poderoso lazo emocional para su desarrollo y sostenimiento.

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Vroom Ambassador: Early Childhood Alliance Experience with Vroom

By Guest Blogger on July 11, 2019

Vroom provides interactive tools and resources that highlight the science behind early brain development, showing parents how they can turn everyday activities like bath time and meal time into opportunities that build their children’s brains. The Vroom Partnership at Child Care Aware® of America is made up of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies who educate and provide Vroom resources to families, providers, and organizations in their communities so they too understand the importance of brain development during the first five years of life. Learn more about Vroom here.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Talking to Families About Home Safety

By Laurie Rackas on July 10, 2019

 

The problem

Providers are committed to promoting children’s health and safety, both in the child care setting and at home. However, many providers report that they are uncertain about how to talk to family members about difficult or potentially sensitive issues. 

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Responsive Caregiving

By Laurie Rackas on July 8, 2019



When we talk about health and safety in child care, the discussion is often focused on reducing or elimination physical threats to children’s well-being (e.g., unsafe playground equipment or the spread of an infectious disease). CCAoA believes that child care is a place where the whole environment helps build healthy children, including their healthy social and emotional development. This is the second of four blog posts from CCAoA about promoting social and emotional health – in this case, through a practice known as responsive caregiving. 

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Vroom Ambassador: Sharing Vroom with Parents, Child Care Professionals and the Chemung County Community

By Guest Blogger on July 2, 2019

Guest Blogger – Ruth A. Harvey, Executive Director – Chemung County Child Care Council, Inc.- Elmira, New York

Vroom provides interactive tools and resources that highlight the science behind early brain development, showing parents how they can turn everyday activities like bath time and meal time into opportunities that build their children’s brains. The Vroom Partnership at Child Care Aware® of America is made up of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies who educate and provide Vroom resources to families, providers, and organizations in their communities so they too understand the importance of brain development during the first five years of life. Learn more about Vroom here.

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What is Social-Emotional Health?

By Laurie Rackas on July 1, 2019



When we talk about health and safety in child care, the discussion is often focused on reducing or eliminating physical threats to children’s well-being (e.g., unsafe playground equipment or the spread of an infectious disease). But there’s something else just as important as safeguarding children’s physical health: promoting their mental health. In young children, mental health is the same thing as healthy social and emotional (S-E) development. 

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Developing Language With Your Child

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on June 26, 2019

Most young children develop language rapidly, moving from crying and cooing in infancy to using hundreds of words and understanding their meanings by the time they are ready to enter kindergarten. Language development is a major accomplishment and is one of the most rewarding experiences for parents to share with their children.

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Cómo Desarrollar el Lenguaje con su Hijo

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on June 26, 2019

La mayoría de los niños pequeños desarrollan rápidamente el lenguaje, pasando del llanto y el arrullo en la infancia al uso y comprensión de cientos de palabras para cuando ya están listos para ingresar al kindergarten. El desarrollo del lenguaje es un logro importante, y es además una de las experiencias más gratificadoras que los padres pueden compartir con sus hijos.

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Child Care Aware® of America Releases Findings of 2019 Annual State Survey on Child Care

By Rae Pickett on June 26, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America Releases Findings of 2019 Annual State Survey on Child Care

State fact sheets provide high-level analysis and national roll-ups of the child care landscape at the state level and show an alarming decline in family child care providers and
inconsistent quality 

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Beat the Heat: The Heat Index

By Julie Looper Coats on June 20, 2019

July is the hottest time of year for much of the United States, according to the Weather Channel. With relative humidity and actual air temperature both peaking during the later summer months, the end of summer can be especially hazardous to children playing outside. Rather than just sweating it out and complaining about the heat, it’s critical to learn how to keep parents, child care providers and children safe when playing outside this summer. 

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Statement from Executive Director on the Passing of MaryLee Allen

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on June 20, 2019

MaryLee Allen, who for more than 40 years was a leader in advocacy for children’s welfare, health and safety with the Children’s Defense Fund, passed away on June 13, 2019. Allen joined CDF in 1974, the year after it was founded, where she worked on CDF’s first-ever policy report, Children Out of School in America. More recently, she worked to ensure the passage and effective implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act child welfare law.

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Get Rid of Your Rock ‘n Play Sleepers Now

By Doug McAllister on June 19, 2019

Despite the fact that Fisher-Price issued a recall on April 12 of all 4.7 million Rock ‘n Play sleepers, there have been anecdotal reports that some of the sleepers are still in child care centers. The recall followed a safety warning from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Fisher-Price that said that 10 babies had died using the product. Just days after that warning, Consumer Reports connected the product to more than 30 infant deaths since 2009.

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Child Care Aware® of America Releases 2019 Funding State Snapshots

By Rae Pickett on June 13, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America Releases 2019 Funding State Snapshots

Licensed child care is in short supply, but Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies can help

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Finding Child Care for Non-Traditional Work Schedules

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on June 13, 2019

Today's job market requires many employees to work shifts that start or end after most child care programs open or close. More and more businesses operate around the clock. Many companies work in shifts, which means employees work in the early mornings, evenings, nights, rotating schedules, weekends, holidays or extended hours. These non-traditional schedules affect the lives of millions of families.

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Cómo Encontrar Servicios de Cuidado de Niños Para Horarios de Trabajo No Tradicionales

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on June 13, 2019

El mercado laboral de hoy requiere que muchos empleados trabajen turnos que comienzan o terminan después de la hora de apertura o cierre de la mayoría de los programas de cuidado de niños. Un número de negocios cada vez mayor se mantienen en operación las 24 horas del día. Muchas compañías trabajan sobre la base de turnos, lo cual significa que los empleados pueden trabajar ya sea temprano por la mañana, por la noche, en la madrugada, con horarios rotatorios, durante los fines de semana, en días feriados o con turnos extendidos. Estos horarios de trabajo no tradicionales afectan la vida de millones de familias.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Health and Safety Training

By Laurie Rackas on June 11, 2019

 

The problem 

To protect the well-being of children in child care programs, federal law mandates that states set minimum health and safety training requirements for providers. What if a program seeks to go beyond the minimum? 

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Exceeding the Vision, Expanding the Possibilities

By Mindy Bennett on May 30, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America is in full planning mode for our 2019 Leadership Institute - Exceeding the VisionExpanding the Possibilities. This year our Institute will be held in beautiful Minneapolis, Minnesota, from October 6 – 9 at the Embassy Suites Hotel.   

The Leadership Institute (formerly known as the State Network Leadership Institute / Membership Council Institute) was created to enhance the future of the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) community by developing the skills of current and future leaders in the industry. The Institute’s content and engagement activities are particularly relevant to CEOs, executive directors, program directors, leaders and emerging leaders at State CCR&R Networks, Local or Regional CCR&R agencies and CCR&R Parent Agencies. We encourage you to invite your key state and community partners to join you at the Institute to reflect on and plan for your joint work.  

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Por Qué es Importante Elegir Cuidado de Niños de Alta Calidad

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on May 30, 2019

La elección de un proveedor de cuidado de niños es una decisión importante. Los buenos arreglos para el cuidado de niños pueden mejorar la vida diaria no sólo de los niños sino también de los padres. Por otro lado, los niños que participan en programas de cuidado de niños de alta calidad tienen niveles más elevados de éxito al ingresar a la escuela. Sin embargo, saber qué buscar en un programa puede resultar difícil y un poco desconcertante. ¿Exactamente cómo se define el cuidado de niños de alta calidad?

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Why Choosing Quality Child Care Matters

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on May 30, 2019

Choosing child care is an important decision. Good child care arrangements can improve the daily lives of children and parents. In addition, children in high quality care have higher levels of success when they enter school. Yet it can be difficult and confusing to know what to look for in a program. What exactly is quality child care?

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Explore A Broader Definition of Health in Child Care

By Jessica Rose-Malm on May 28, 2019



Since 2015, Child Care Aware® of America’s Health Policy Team has partnered with teams in 12 states to explore a broader definition of health in child care through our Healthy Child Care, Healthy Communities technical assistance project. Along with our state partners, we conducted research, communications and advocacy projects covering diverse health topics from nutrition and active play to injury prevention and inclusion. Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) played a pivotal role on nearly every state by connecting us to data, convening partners and lifting up provider and community voices to inform our understanding of healthy child care. 

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Family Voices: Turning Heartbreak to Happiness

By Guest Blogger on May 21, 2019

Even with early and careful planning, finding the right child care provider can be difficult for families. The challenges often seem overwhelming for parents searching for a provider that is qualified to care for a child with special needs.  

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CCR&Rs’ Role in Closing Child Care Supply and Demand Gaps

By Maggie Norton on May 20, 2019

Did you know that there are approximately 12.5 million children in some sort of regular child care arrangement? Yet there are communities across the country where the supply of child care doesn’t meet the need for child care. Child Care Aware® of America helped states quantify families’ child care needs through our Mapping the Gap™ project, and learned a lot about child care gaps across the US:  

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Child Care Aware® of America Releases Report on Child Care Supply Crisis and Offers Solutions

By Rae Pickett on May 16, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America Releases Report on Child Care Supply Crisis and Offers Solutions

Licensed child care is in short supply, but Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies can help

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Interrogantes Relacionados Con el Cuidado De Niños y Su Lugar de Trabajo

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on May 16, 2019

Un número cada vez mayor de empleados luchan más duro que nunca para establecer un equilibrio entre las demandas de su trabajo y las de sus vidas familiares. Estudios demuestran que los padres que trabajan presentan una tasa creciente de ausentismo del trabajo al verse obligados a buscar servicios de cuidado de niños, hacer arreglos para los días feriados escolares, cuidar a niños enfermos, hacer arreglos alternativos cuando se enferman los proveedores de cuidado de niños, programar conferencias en la escuela y responder a lo no esperado.

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Child Care Issues and Your Workplace

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on May 16, 2019

More and more employees are struggling harder than ever to balance the demands of their work and home lives. Studies show that working parents have an increasing rate of absenteeism as they search for child care, juggle school holidays, care for sick children, adjust for sick child care providers, schedule school conferences, and respond to the unexpected.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Safety and Environment E-Book

By Laurie Rackas on May 8, 2019

 

Environmental Health

The problem: Providers recognize that significant environmental issues exist in some child care programs. However, identifying and addressing these issues can seem like an overwhelming task.

One solution: Safety and Environment: Protecting Kids from Hidden Hazards, a new e-book from CCAoA, which contains concrete actions that CCR&Rs and providers can take to reduce environmental hazards.

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Planning for Summer

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on May 2, 2019

Opportunities and Challenges

Summer is right around the corner and it's not too soon to start planning. While your need for child care is year-round, summertime offers special opportunities as well as challenges. Even for very young children, child care schedules often follow a school year model with transitions in June or September. For some children, the end of the school year will mean a move to a new classroom. For others, it may mean choosing a camp or recreational program followed by a new class or new school in the Fall. Summer might also mean vacation travel to visit friends and family.

Topics: Parenting
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Planificación para el Verano

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on May 2, 2019

Oportunidades y Retos

Ya viene el verano, y ahora es el momento oportuno de empezar a hacer planes. Si bien la necesidad que usted tiene de contar con servicios de cuidado de niños dura todo el año, la época de verano ofrece no sólo retos sino también oportunidades especiales. Hasta para los niños muy pequeños, los calendarios de los centros de cuidado con frecuencia se ajustan a un modelo basado en el año académico, con transiciones en junio o septiembre. Para algunos niños, el cierre del año académico significa el traslado a una nueva aula. Para otros, puede significar elegir un campamento o un programa recreativo seguido por una nueva clase o una nueva escuela en el otoño. El verano también puede significar viajes durante las vacaciones para visitar amigos y familiares.

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Family Voices: The 2019 Child Care Works Summit Energizes and Inspires Action!

By Guest Blogger on May 1, 2019

Wendy Nycz is a family advocate from Wisconsin who shared her experience after attending the 2019 Child Care Works Summit.

Earlier this month, Catey Rice and I had the honor of attending the 2019 Child Care Works Summit alongside 22 other Family Advocates and about 150 child care resource and referral professionals from 32 states, plus D.C. I was selected to attend because as a mother of 3 teens and a toddler, I have been involved in the childcare world for many years. Not only as a parent, but also as a professional. I currently live in the small town of Antigo, Wisconsin where my husband and I are both self employed and work from home in order to also care for our toddler. I made the decision to leave the professional workforce not long after my littlest one was born due to the cost and lack of quality care in our area.  

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Help Caregivers Provide Support During Measles Outbreak

By Krista Scott on May 1, 2019



It’s May and
there have already been 704 cases of measles across the U.S. this year. That’s more than any single year since 1994. About one-quarter of this year’s cases have affected children under age 5. And nine times out of ten, the person who got sick was either unvaccinated or unsure if they were vaccinated.

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Child Care Aware® of America Statement On The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Markup

By Rae Pickett on May 1, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America Statement On The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Markup

WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the child care funding increase passed yesterday by the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) Executive Director Dr. Lynette M. Fraga released the following statement:

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Promising Practices: Advancing Family Partnerships

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on April 26, 2019

In 2017, Early Learning Indiana (ELI), with the support of the Lilly Endowment, launched the Family Engagement Prize Competition. Recently completing their second year, this statewide prize competition highlights family engagement innovation and excellence in early care and education (ECE) programs. The Prize Competition celebrates the exemplary actions of ECE professionals to empower families’ in their role as their children’s first teachers! Over the past two years programs have been recognized for practices like, offering parenting classes, job placement, housing, and food and fuel assistance, as well as parent-child engagement materials to use at home.

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Keeping Kids Safe in Parking Lots and Driveways

By Jessica Rose-Malm on April 25, 2019

Most child care providers have an on-site parking lot or driveway. This is a huge benefit for families and staff, making drop-off and pick-up a lot easier. But that benefit comes with some potentially big costs. Parking lots and driveways can present some serious risks to children’s health.  

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No Small Matter Inspires Early Education Progress

By Guest Blogger on April 25, 2019

 

How can we get people to not only see the value of high-quality early education, but understand we’re all harmed when access is limited and take action so all children can take advantage?

At The Family Conservancy, like countless other organizations we work alongside, we have struggled with this challenge. It’s one thing to gain understanding and agreement on an issue, it’s a whole different matter to implement the radical changes that are needed.

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Put Us On Your Summer To-Do List!

By Sara Diamond on April 24, 2019

Summer is my favorite time of year and I find that it’s hard to accomplish everything I hope to achieve before the season ends. Recently, I started to brainstorm my summer “to-do” list to help me prioritize and plan my summer adventures. I’m not sure what you usually set your sights on, but typically on my list are activities such as reading a best seller, taking a beach trip, and visiting family. This year, at the top of my list is crossing America’s longest swinging bridge. The Swinging Bridge to Prosperity stretches 335 feet (which is longer than a football field) and 70 feet above the east prong of the Little Pigeon River in Tennessee. Can you imagine?! This will take me outside of my comfort zone and challenge me more than some of the other items on my list, for sure!

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Family Routines and Rituals

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on April 18, 2019

Routines are familiar patterns and habits on which families rely to manage their daily lives. As parents often look for ways to save time and be organized, routines become a much needed helping hand. By setting daily schedules, creating family message centers, and arranging storage for personal belongings, families can stay in control of their activities and troubleshoot potential problems.

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Rutinas y Ritos Familiares

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on April 18, 2019

Las rutinas son patrones y hábitos familiares de los que las familias dependen para manejar su vida diaria. Debido a que los padres con frecuencia buscan formas de organizarse y economizar tiempo, las rutinas se convierten en una fuente de apoyo de mucha utilidad. Cuando establecen calendarios diarios, crean centros familiares para mensajes y hacen arreglos para poner en su sitio las pertenencias de todos los miembros, las familias pueden mantener un control sobre sus actividades e identificar y resolver problemas potenciales.

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Family Voices: A Father’s Perspective in Family Engagement

By Guest Blogger on April 17, 2019

Ray is a father, grandparent, kinship provider, and role model for children in his community. He is an advocate for healthy parent-child relationships, father engagement, and accessible community resources. Most recently, he was part of the team that produced the PBS documentary, Finding Fatherhood In Colorado. 

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Health Resource Spotlight: Family Child Care

By Laurie Rackas on April 10, 2019

 

Resources to Build and Retain the FCC Workforce 

The problem: Across the nation, the supply of family child care providers is declining. What can be done to retain existing FCC providers, and attract new providers? 

One solution: A suite of National Resources about Family Child Care, published on the website of the Early Childhood Training and Technical Assistance System (ECTTAS). 

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Alivio del Estrés y Prevención del Enojo

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on April 4, 2019

El estrés es un elemento de nuestra vida diaria: la lucha con su hijo de cuatro años para que coma a la hora del desayuno, el sobrecalentamiento de su auto en medio del tráfico, el retraso en recoger a su hijo del centro de cuidado de niños, las confrontaciones con otros miembros de la familia respecto a las tareas y las responsabilidades en el hogar.

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Stress Relief and Anger Prevention

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on April 4, 2019

Stress is a part of our everyday lives: struggling with your four-year-old over breakfast food, having the car overheat in traffic, running late to pick up at the child care center, confronting family members about chores and household responsibilities.

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Location Matters: Tips for Choosing a Safe Child Care Site

By Jessica Rose-Malm on April 3, 2019

When we think about health and safety in child care, it’s often related to hazards we can see. For instance, are providers and children washing their hands properly? Have cleaners and medications been locked away? Are smoke and carbon monoxide detectors present and functional? These are things that can affect children’s wellbeing right now. 

At Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), we’ve been thinking about health and safety in a new way. To create safe and healthy child care programs, we need to consider both hazards we can see and those we cannot. That means thinking about children’s health and wellness right now and in the future.  

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Family Voices: Public Investments Could Help End Poverty

By Guest Blogger on April 2, 2019

Achievement gaps start early for children in families with low incomes. Access to high-quality early care and education programs help young children develop social and emotional, language, and academic skills needed to succeed. In this blog, you will hear from Ashley, a family advocate who uses her personal experience to make the case for why it’s important for states and communities to invest in early care and learning programs as one strategy for ensuring the next generation has the skills they need to overcome poverty.  

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Tips to Reduce the Use of Toxic Chemicals in Child Care Programs

By Jessica Rose-Malm on March 28, 2019

Keeping child care facilities clean and free of pests is one of the most important things we can do to prevent diseases from spreading. The challenge is that chemicals that providers use for cleaning and pest control are often toxic. And while that might be common knowledge for some, not everyone knows about the risks some cleaners can cause. Also, many of the cleaners that are more toxic are inexpensive, making them fast and easy choices for businesses and low-income families.  

The Child Care and Development Block Grant has requirements around handing and storing hazardous materials. If providers are using ammonia to clean or rat poison to keep pests away, they need to make sure those chemicals are locked away and out of reach.  

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Promising Practices: Discovering Innovative Ways to Provide Support to ECE Communities

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on March 26, 2019

Child Care Resource Center (CCRC), serves California’s Northern Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties. A few years ago, the agency was searching for an innovative way to provide parents, license-exempt providers, and family, friend and neighbor caregivers with early childhood support, information, and resources. CCRC also wanted a program that would strengthen their relationship with the community, while helping caregivers and families connect with each other. The goal was to promote the optimal development of the children within these often underserved caregiver settings.

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Trump Administration Shares Additional Materials to Support Its FY 2020 Budget

By Jay Nichols on March 22, 2019

On March 18, the Trump Administration published additional materials to support its FY 2020 budget request to Congress.  While the budget request includes proposals to address the child care crisis in the U.S., it falls well short of what is needed long-term.  Additionally, the President’s request includes proposals that would harm millions of working families with cuts to critical funding streams and access to basic needs.

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Spring Flooding: Tips to Prepare Child Care Providers

By Holly Nett on March 22, 2019

Spring can’t come soon enough for you, right?  On the heels of a winter that gifted us with the polar vortex and record amounts of snowfall across much of the country, spring flooding is now a reality in much of the Midwest. While those living in the northern tier of the country may be wishing for a quick spring warm up and the disappearance of snow,  rapid snow melt is already producing record flooding. 


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Cuidado Auxiliar Para los Hijos

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on March 20, 2019

DSC_2009CCAofA 4.24.19 STEM day care BarrettHasta los arreglos mejor planificados para el cuidado de su hijo pueden complicarse de vez en cuando. En ausencia de servicios de cuidado de emergencia, más comúnmente conocidos como servicios de cuidado auxiliar, los padres que trabajan pueden verse obligados a permanecer en casa o llevar a su hijo con ellos al trabajo. Pero si hace planes por adelantado y sabe cuáles son las opciones que tiene disponibles, puede estar preparado para enfrentar lo inesperado.

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Back-Up Child Care

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on March 20, 2019

Even the best planned child care arrangements can be disrupted from time to time. Without emergency care, more commonly known as back-up care, working parents may be forced to stay home or bring their child to work with them. By planning ahead and knowing your options, you can be prepared to meet the unexpected.

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Family Voices: A Grandmother’s Journey from Loss to Advocacy

By Guest Blogger on March 15, 2019

Have you ever asked yourself “what am I doing here?”  Why am I immersed in this situation?  Sometimes we tend to just roll with life and end up with missed opportunity because we don’t fully realize our potential or purpose in a situation.  Recently, I found myself in unfamiliar territory and couldn’t help but wonder what I was doing there, what contribution was I supposed to make?   

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Child Care Aware® of America Statement On The President’s Budget for 2020

By Rae Pickett on March 13, 2019

WASHINGTON, DC — In response to the child care proposals in the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), executive director Dr. Lynette M. Fraga released the following statement:

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Health Resource Spotlight: Infectious Disease Outbreaks

By Laurie Rackas on March 13, 2019

 

 

The problem: Right now, there is widespread flu activity in 48 states and 11 states have reported outbreaks of the measles. How can adults talk to young children about what’s happening without scaring them?

One solution: A tip sheet published by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Association (SAMHSA) on Talking with Children: Tips for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers During Infectious Disease Outbreaks.

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Workforce Wellness: A Call for Programs Doing it Well

By Jessica Rose-Malm on March 13, 2019

The life of a child care provider is never easy. Every day they wear a dozen hats—teacher, nurse, referee, social worker and more. Providers give their all to make sure the children in their care have all the tools they need to grow up happy, healthy and ready to learn. But the stress of doing it all, and for very little pay, can add up to big consequences for providers’ health and wellbeing.

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National CACFP Week: Raising Awareness of Nutrition in Your Child Care Program

By Krista Scott on March 11, 2019

On March 17-23, we will celebrate National CACFP Week!

Why? Child care is a place where many young children have their first experiences with new foods. Child care programs—family child care homes and child care centers—play a big role in helping children eat well, so they can learn and play.

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is an important part of how many providers are able to put healthier foods on the table for young children. It provides rules and guidance that help participating programs create healthy meals.

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Promising Practices: Sharing Brain Development Info with Parents

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on March 8, 2019

Talk, Read, Play (TRP) is a unique education campaign that turns complex information about brain development in young children into a simple message parents can use to prepare their child for success in school and life: talk, read and play with your child every day.

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Introducing: A Webinar Series Focused On Consumer Education Excellence

By Sara Diamond on March 4, 2019

It can happen suddenly—a job offer that starts next week, an injury, or news of expecting a baby are only a few of the situations that can leave a family suddenly searching for child care. Many families not only feel the pressure of their circumstances, but can become easily overwhelmed and struggle to understand the different options for child care in their community. Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions families make, which is why the role of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies as a reliable source of information is so crucial. Quality consumer education and engagement practices reduce barriers families face when accessing quality child care by ensuring they receive trusted information that supports their roles as decision makers and advocates.

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Ami Gadhia: Advancing our Mission as our New Chief of Policy, Programs and Research

By Sara Diamond on March 1, 2019

We are pleased to introduce our new Chief of Policy, Programs and Research, Ami Gadhia.  

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Child Care Advocates Applaud Reintroduction of Child Care for Working Families Act

By Jay Nichols on February 26, 2019

Earlier today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the “Child Care for Working Families Act of 2019” on Capitol Hill.  At the press conference, Senator Murray was joined by Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Bob Casey (D-PA), as well as several parent advocates. The legislation is nearly identical to the 2017 version.

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Provider’s POV Shares Challenges in Offering Nonstandard Hours Care

By Guest Blogger on February 26, 2019

In January, we released a new report, “It’s About Time: Parents Who Work Nonstandard Hours Face Child Care Challenges,” where we highlighted the need for and the obstacles in accommodating nonstandard hours child care. We also highlighted groups who are doing it right! Here is one child care provider’s journey to provide nonstandard hours care in her community.

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Promising Practices: Encouraging Early Learning Activities at Home

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on February 22, 2019

 

In February 2017, the Early Learning Coalition of Duval (ELCD) County, Florida joined forces with Jacksonville Journey, a comprehensive community-wide crime prevention initiative. For a decade, Jacksonville Journey has focused on positive youth development, neighborhood safety, truancy, and dropout prevention and intervention. Leaders at ELCD also saw a need within the initiative for early intervention and parent education services, and launched the Family Engagement and Early Literacy Support Program. It strives to help families by fostering strong parent-child relationships and encourage early learning activities in the home.

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No Todas las Familias Son Iguales

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 21, 2019

Hoy día, es posible observar muchas diferentes clases de familias. Si bien muchos niños viven en familias con sus dos padres, las familias 'mixtas' se han vuelto mucho más comunes. Los niños pueden tener relaciones familiares con hermanastros, padres adoptivos, hermanos adoptivos, dos mamás, medio hermanos, abuelos que hacen las veces de padres, y otros.

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Families Are Not All Alike

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 21, 2019

Nowadays, it's possible to observe many different types of families. While many children live with two parents, other family types have become much more common. Children can have family relationships with step-siblings, adoptive parents, adoptive siblings, two moms or two dads, a single parent, half-siblings, grandparents raising grandchildren, and others.

Topics: Parenting
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Los Niños y Los Medicamentos Fuera Del Hogar

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 21, 2019

El uso de medicamentos para tratar a los niños pequeños va en aumento. Este aumento puede atribuirse a diversas causas: el aumento en los tratamientos para el asma, una mayor dependencia de los médicos para controlar el comportamiento, y el aumento en la incidencia de ciertas enfermedades. Aunque la mayoría de los medicamentos que se administran a los niños son para resfriados, infecciones, y dolor o fiebre, a muchos niños se les ha diagnosticado condiciones crónicas, tales como el Síndrome de Deficiencia de Atención/Hiperactividad (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, o ADHD), diabetes, depresión o asma, donde los medicamentos terapéuticos se han constituido en una rutina diaria.

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Children and Medication Outside the Home

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 21, 2019

The use of medication for young children is on the rise. This increase is due to several reasons: the increase in asthma treatments, a greater reliance on medication for behavior control, and the increased incidence of some diseases. Most medications given to children are for colds, infections and pain or fever, but many children are diagnosed with chronic conditions such as Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), diabetes, depression or asthma where therapeutic drugs have become a way of life.

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CCW Summit Spotlight: Owning Your Expertise with the Media

By Rae Pickett on February 20, 2019

Living in the 24-hour news cycle can be exhausting and overwhelming for some. Still, many of us have important stories to tell and are experts in the field of child care and early education. At this year’s Child Care Works (CCW) Summit, we will have a media workshop where attendees will learn to embrace, rather than fear, the media. 2019 is a critical year for child care, so there’s no better time than now to make child care a central topic of conversation. One of the most valuable ways to do that is through earned media where we can use our stories and our expertise to center the narrative that all children and families deserve access to a high-quality child care system.

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The Wins that Will Mobilize & Unite Us as We Move Forward

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on February 19, 2019

As we prepare for strategic planning for FY20-22, I have been reflecting on the great work we have done toward meeting our mission to advance a child care system that effectively serves all children and families. Every step we have taken gets us closer to fulfilling our vision: That every family in the United States has access to high-quality, affordable child care.Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) had a number of recent successes that will continue to propel us toward that future.

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Family Voices: Gratitude for Family Advocates who Fuel Policy  Advancements

By Kim Engelman on February 18, 2019

Engaging families meaningfully in child care advocacy has been central to Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA)’s mission for over a decade. The voices of families as they share their child care experiences are critically important to contextualizing the child care system challenges that we face nationwide. I have had the privilege of personally getting to know many of the family advocates that have partnered with CCAoA over the years. This year’s call for family advocate applicants has closed and notifications of acceptance have been sent to selected advocates. I adore being witness to the excitement as I see a flood of social media posts and personal notes from family advocates as they share proudly that they have been selected to join us for this year’s Child Care Works Summit.

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Promising Practices: Reaching Underserved Families and Caregivers

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on February 15, 2019

 

Bright by Three is a Colorado-based organization that equips families with tools to promote their child’s healthy development through the most pivotal stages of growth during the earliest years of life. The organization partners with pediatricians, researchers and other child development experts to design program materials in English and Spanish, delivered to families through a visitation program and Bright by Text. Since its launch in 1995, Bright by Three has given early education and support to more than 200,000 families in Colorado. In 2012, the organization decided to look into how they could expand their reach to parents and caregivers not served by the visitation program.

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Ideas CCR&Rs can use to Strategically Prepare for Workforce Recommendations

By Mindy Bennett on February 14, 2019

The Power to the Profession task force recently released the Decision Cycles 345 + 6 draft document. See a high-level overview of the decision cycles by downloading our fourth e-book in our Power to the Profession series: Understanding the Recommendations from Decision Cycles 345 + 6. The goal of these Decision Cycles is to establish the very first unified framework of the early childhood education workforce that defines the professional preparation, responsibilities, scope of practice, specialization, and compensation needed to drive policy, funding, and systems change in our field.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Daily Health Checks

By Laurie Rackas on February 13, 2019

The Problem:
Child care providers are expected to do a daily health check for each of the children in their care. However, not all providers are aware of what a comprehensive health check entails.

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Dr. Edward Zigler: Gone Now but His Legacy Lives On

By Dionne Dobbins, Ph.D. on February 12, 2019

 

This week, we lost a pioneer in early childhood education, Dr. Edward F.  Zigler. Dr. Zigler, who founded Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, was a strong advocate for children and believed that even the poorest child deserved the best start. Head Start, the small summer program he helped plan, now serves over a million children and families with low incomes every year around the country!

Topics: Workforce
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Elevating Dual Language Learners During DLL Shine Celebration Week

By Allyson Dean, Ed.D. on February 12, 2019

Denise is a family child care provider who just enrolled a family who recently immigrated to the United States from El Salvador. Although the family speaks some English, their home language is Spanish and 3-year-old Jorge, their son, communicates solely in Spanish. Jorge has transitioned well into the program and enjoys playing with the other children in the program but struggles to communicate verbally with his English-speaking peers. Denise wants to help Jorge fully participate in the program, but she is unsure how to best support him since she does not speak Spanish. Does this scenario sound familiar? 

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Statement from Deputy Executive Director on the Passing of Dr. Edward Zigler

By Michelle McCready, Deputy Executive Director on February 11, 2019

 

Dr. Edward Zigler. Photo credit: Yale School of Medicine
Topics: News
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Ringing in the New Year: Celebrating 35 Years of Service to Essex County

By Sara Diamond on February 11, 2019

 

Dr. Beverly Lynn, CEO of Programs for Parents in Newark, New Jersey, wanted to do something really special to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of their non-profit organization, which serves as the principal advocate for child care services in Essex County and offers a full range of services, including professional development, technical assistance and parent education.

On January 3rd, 2019, she was joined by board members, parents, and providers to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Lynn to learn more about this amazing honor.

 

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Now Accepting Proposals! Health/Safety Training Opportunity for CCR&Rs

By Krista Scott on February 7, 2019

The National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW) is funding an initiative through Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) to provide CCR&Rs with critical health and safety trainings. Successful applicants will receive training curricula and resources on two topics required by the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).

  • Emergency Preparedness, Response and Recovery
  • Another required health and safety topic of the CCR&R’s choosing

As part of this initiative, CCAoA will select two CCR&Rs, in different states, for a two-year partnership. Agencies that are committed to working with programs that reach underserved children and families are encouraged to apply.

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Sentido Común en Asuntos de Dinero

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 7, 2019

Todos los padres enfrentan problemas de dinero con sus hijos. Esto puede causar frustración e incluso crear situaciones bochornosas. Sin embargo, existen algunos pasos específicos que puede tomar para ayudar a su hijo a aprender que el dinero no está disponible en forma ilimitada, que debe ganarse con el trabajo y que gastarlo implica la necesidad de elegir entre opciones. Usted puede ayudar a su hijo a desarrollar un buen sentido común en asuntos de dinero que le ayudará toda una vida.

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Dollars and Sense

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 7, 2019

How do I teach my child the value of a hard earned dollar?” "I want that toy!" wailed three-year-old Amy at the shopping mall. "But Mom, everyone at school has the Nike sneakers - not these!" exclaimed nine-year-old Jeff. "Dad, if you just loan me the money for the skates I'll pay you back," promised thirteen-year-old Will.

Topics: Parenting
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Why You Should Attend CCAoA’s Child Care Works Summit in April

By Jillian Doody on February 6, 2019

 

This year, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) will host our first Child Care Works (CCW) Summit in Washington, DC on April 3-4. The summit is an abridged version of our regular biannual Symposium and will welcome Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency staff, child care providers, family advocates and other partners for a full day of trainings and sessions followed by our annual Day on the Hill event.

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Examining Child Care Supply and Demand Gaps for Babies in Your Community

By Maggie Norton on January 30, 2019

 

For decades, Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies have prioritized tracking child care supply and demand in order to better serve the children, families and child care providers in their area. With the reauthorization of the Child Care and Development Block Grant in 2014, states are now required to do this, and CCR&Rs are written into the law as experts in tracking child care supply and demand. For most state agencies or CCR&Rs, this means tracking the number of licensed child care spaces for children available at licensed child care providers. But, in recent times we’ve seen challenges with only being able to track the total number of children in a program, not the number of child care spaces by age group.

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Healthy Child Care, Healthy Communities: Supporting Diverse Health Issues

By Jessica Rose-Malm on January 29, 2019

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) has a strong history in advocating for policies that protect the health of children. Background checks, health and safety training, and monitoring visits from the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) state agency are a few of the many recommendations that CCAoA has supported as foundational for protecting children in child care. With generous support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), we launched the Healthy Child Care, Healthy Communities technical assistance project to expand and explore a broader definition of health in child care.

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Child Care Aware® of America Congratulates Dr. Walter S. Gilliam As Newly Elected Board President

By Rae Pickett on January 25, 2019

Dr. Gilliam’s dedication to early childhood education research and analysis alongside his exceptional leadership in the fields of child psychiatry and psychology make him a sought after expert in the field.

 

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It’s About Time! What You Can Do About Nonstandard Hours Child Care Challenges

By Jessica Tercha on January 24, 2019

An astounding 6.7 million children live in a single-parent household with a nonstandard hours (NSH) schedule. These workers are the fuel keeping our 24/7 economy running; they power the services that keep businesses running. Workers with NSH schedules don’t just keep things moving, but they also work nights and weekends to deliver services, care for us, keep us safe, and are prepared to step in when disaster strikes. Some NSH workers are student-parents and many work more than one job just to pay the bills and provide for their own families. So as CCAoA advocates for all families to have access to quality, affordable child care, we know that this is an especially tall order for families working a NSH schedule.  

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New Report Shows Nonstandard Hours of Work Cause More Obstacles For Families and Children

By Rae Pickett on January 24, 2019

Working Parents Need More Than “Day” Care

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) released its Nonstandard Hours (NSH) Paper: “It’s About Time! Parents Who Work Nonstandard Hours Face Child Care Challenges,”  which found that the inadequate supply of NSH child care is problematic and raises concerns about access to safe, affordable, and quality child care for many families in our country. In today’s economy, where anyone can work 24/7, many parents struggle to find reliable, affordable NSH child care. NHS is defined as hours worked outside the traditional Monday through Friday work week. By 2020, occupations requiring nonstandard schedules are projected to see the most employment growth.

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Creating a School and Home Connection

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on January 24, 2019

Children whose parents participate in their education, both in and out of the classroom, learn more effectively and are happier and more successful at school. Recent research shows that children have better report cards, greater self-esteem and a more successful future.

Topics: Parenting
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Creando una Conexión Entre Escuela y Hogar

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on January 24, 2019

Los niños cuyos padres participan en su educación, tanto dentro como fuera del aula, reciben un aprendizaje más eficaz, son más contentos y cosechan mayores éxitos en la escuela. Estudios recientes revelan que tales niños reciben mejores notas, tienen un grado de autoestima más positivo y un futuro más exitoso.

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Harper’s Story: An Unthinkable Tragedy and How You Can Prevent It

By Guest Blogger on January 23, 2019

Harper’s Story: An Unthinkable Tragedy and How You Can Prevent It 

It was a day like any other. Harper was a typical toddler full of love, laughs and life, when the unthinkable happened. Listen to Harper’s mother, Whitney, share how the events of that tragic day unfolded. Providers: hear her recommendation for preventing tragedies like this from occurring in your program. Parents: let Harper’s story show you why it is important to talk about safe outdoor play spaces and pick-up policies with your child’s provider.  

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New Child Care Affordability Legislation Introduced

By Jay Nichols on January 18, 2019

New Hampshire Senator, Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), just reintroduced the "Right Start Child Care and Education Act," which would help make child care more affordable for working class families by amending the federal tax code.

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5 Ways Poverty Impacts Early Brain Development and How You Can Help

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on January 17, 2019

Numerous studies show the foundation for lifelong learning is established during the first five years of brain development. Parents, child care providers and other adults providing care to children are instrumental in encouraging minds to grow healthy and strong. In fact, during these early years, more than one million new neural connections form every second. Thanks to new technology, neuroscientists have even been able to capture images that show how a child’s brain “lights up” during positive interactions with responsive caregivers.

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Promising Practices: Using Spanish Radio to Share Child Care Resources

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on January 11, 2019

This story begins in 2008, with Romilia Schlueter—a respected leader in the Dane County, Wisconsin Latina/o community, with decades of experience in the family support and early childhood fields. At the time, she was working at a family resource center that was a member of Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA), Wisconsin’s statewide child care resource and referral agency. The center had a long list of Spanish-speaking families waiting to be accepted into their early childhood home visitation program. Seeing an opportunity to help meet that need, Romilia came up with the idea of delivering early childhood information to families and caregivers via a weekly Spanish-language radio program. Before long Romilia and La Movida, a popular Spanish radio station in Madison, launched Aprendiendo Juntos Fortalecemos la Familia (Learning Together We Strengthen the Family), with Romilia as the host. This initial program evolved into Apoyando Familias, Aprendiendo Juntos (Supporting Families, Learning Together) when Romilia took a position with SFTA in 2011. The radio program was reformatted and its website added a blog, where audio recordings and scripts of more than 300 programs are archived.

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¿Está Su Niño Preparado Para Quedarse Solo en Casa?

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on January 10, 2019

Para muchas familias que tienen niños más grandes, entre las edades de 9 y 12 años, llega un momento en que hay que decidir si el niño está listo para cuidarse solo. Mientras que algunos padres se van a su trabajo antes de que abra la escuela, otros terminan su trabajo mucho más tarde que la hora de cierre de la escuela. A esas horas no es común que haya personas para cuidar a los niños o programas para después de la escuela.

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Is Your Child Ready to Stay Home Alone?

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on January 10, 2019

For many families with older children between the ages of 9 and 12, the time comes when you must decide if your child is ready to care for himself. While some parents leave for work before school opens, others finish work long after school is over. Often there are few sitters or after-school programs available at these times.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Stress and Provider Health

By Laurie Rackas on January 9, 2019

The Problem:

Working in child care can be stressful and take a toll on many facets of a providers’ health, including oral health. 

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Krista Scott Joins the Division for Early Childhood Board

By Rae Pickett on January 2, 2019

If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Krista Scott, she is the senior director of child care health policy here at Child Care Aware® of America. And recently, we are proud to announce that she was appointed to the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) executive board as the Member-at-Large. 

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Celebrating Family Voices

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on January 2, 2019

In 2018, families joined Child Care Aware® of America in a shared mission to move the needle on quality and affordable child care forward. Several issues topped their list of concerns: 

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Child Care Aware® of America Announces New Board of Directors

By Rae Pickett on December 27, 2018

These distinguished individuals provide diverse views and expertise to further the mission of quality, affordable child care for all

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced three new members of its Board of Directors. Members of the Board have the unique opportunity to help shape the future of our national organization and provide leadership as we continue our fight for quality, affordable child care. These new members will begin their terms on January 1, 2019:

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Let’s Welcome Our Newest Board Members

By Steve Rohde on December 27, 2018

As we approach the end of an exciting year, I am pleased to share that several individuals will be joining the Child Care Aware® of America Board of Directors. Their addition to the board will help to better position the organization as a critical leader in service to children and families. They will be key in implementing the strategic plan for the coming year, engaging in the 2019 strategic planning process and in shaping the Child Care Works Summit in April 2019.

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Why 2019 Is a Critical Year for Child Care

By Jacob Stewart on December 21, 2018

 This past year was huge for child care.

In February, Congress finally reached a bipartisan agreement on the federal budget. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 not only provided billions in “new” discretionary funding for the next two fiscal years but specifically pledged to double investments for child care.

In March, Congress then passed the FY2018 Omnibus bill, which included a historic $2.37 billion increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Six months later, Congress provided an additional $50 million to CCDBG while simultaneously increasing funding for other key programs like Head Start ($200 million).

These wins in early childhood funding should certainly be celebrated. But this celebration also needs a caveat: that for FY2020, we need to ensure this funding remains a priority for the 116th Congress.

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‘Tis The Season of Giving: How One CCR&R Won a $25K Grant

By Adina Young on December 20, 2018

 

This year on Giving Tuesday, the unspoken “kick-off” to many holiday giving campaigns, Child Care Aware® of Missouri, decided to do something a little different. They threw their hat in the ring with over 160 other organizations, for a $25,000 Wells Fargo grant that focused on community building—and were one of 10 chosen grantees!

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Criando a un Niño a Quien Le Gusta Leer

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on December 20, 2018

Alimentar el Amor por la Lectura

Alimentar el amor por la lectura y la escritura es un papel que los padres pueden desempeñar en la vida de sus hijos. El éxito en la escuela y más tarde en su carrera dependerá de tener buenas aptitudes para leer y escribir. Hoy en día, oímos hablar constantemente sobre la importancia de la alfabetización. ¿Qué significa alfabetización? Es la habilidad de leer y escribir.

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Krista Scott Appointed to Division for Early Childhood Executive Board

By Rae Pickett on December 19, 2018

The DEC promotes policies and advances evidence-based practices that support families and enhance the optimal development of young children (0-8) who have or are at risk for developmental delays and disabilities. The DEC Board focuses their time and effort on ensuring accountability of the organization to fulfill its organizational purposes.

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Fee Assistance Programs: Serving and Supporting Our Military Families

By Christine LaPlaca on December 18, 2018

Deployments, trainings, frequent moves, new schools…our nation’s military families endure a high amount of stress and change. Finding child care is yet another challenge that military families face. Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) partners with the Armed Forces and other Department of Defense (DoD) Agencies to make life a little easier for these families and their children by administering child care fee assistance programs.

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Fee Assistance Programs: Serving and Supporting Our Military Families

By Christine LaPlaca on December 17, 2018

 

Deployments, trainings, frequent moves, new schools…our nation’s military families endure a high amount of stress and change. Finding child care is yet another challenge that military families face. Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) partners with the Armed Forces and other Department of Defense (DoD) Agencies to make life a little easier for these families and their children by administering child care fee assistance programs.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Resources for Child Care Providers to Make Healthy Choices

By Laurie Rackas on December 12, 2018

The Problem: 

Child care providers care for and promote the health and wellness of our nation’s children but struggle to make healthy choices for themselves. 

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Media Is A Powerful Force

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on December 11, 2018

Children today are immersed in the media culture through television, video, computer games, and the Internet. Screen time is a daily part of family life for most Americans.

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Los Medios de Comunicación Tienen Mucho Poder

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on December 11, 2018

Hoy en día, los niños están sumergidos en la cultura de los medios de comunicación a través de la televisión, los videos, los juegos por computadoras y la Internet. Pasar algún tiempo frente a una pantalla se ha convertido en parte de la vida diaria de la mayoría de las familias de los Estados Unidos.

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Toy Safety: Making Safe Choices This Holiday Season So Children Can Have Fun

By Julie Looper Coats on December 10, 2018

The holiday season is a great time for family, friends and fun. It's also a time for giving gifts, especially for our excited little ones. When purchasing toys for our little ones, it's important that they are not only age appropriate but safe.

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Statement from CCAoA on the Passing of President George H.W. Bush

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on December 6, 2018

As our nation mourns a president, child care advocates are mourning one of the fiercest defenders of critical child care infrastructures. President Bush pledged his continued support of the National Commission on Children, paving the way for key legislative victories including the establishment of the Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP.)

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Child Care Aware® of America Announces Second Cohort of Vroom Ambassadors

By Rae Pickett on December 4, 2018

Ambassadors will use the brain science embedded in Vroom to help families and providers build stronger communities

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced the second cohort of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Vroom ambassadors. These selected agencies will strategically embed Vroom brain-building tips and materials in their local family and community outreach services. As part of an expanded partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation, CCAoA will deepen programmatic integration of advancements in brain science with early education providers and families through three cohorts of ambassadors. The third cohort will be selected and announced next year.

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Child Care Aware® of America Announces Second Cohort of Vroom Ambassadors Ambassadors will use the brain science embedded in Vroom to help families and providers build stronger communities

By Meghan Cornwell on December 4, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced the second cohort of Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Vroom ambassadors. These selected agencies will strategically embed Vroom brain-building tips and materials in their local family and community outreach services. As part of an expanded partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation, CCAoA will deepen programmatic integration of advancements in brain science with early education providers and families through three cohorts of ambassadors. The third cohort will be selected and announced next year.

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New Website Design, New Resources for Consumer Education

By Mindy Bennett on November 29, 2018

 

As a Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency, you play a critical role within your state and community. The work that you do every day to help families learn about and locate quality child care for their unique family needs is not only important to that specific family but to the community at large. Equally important is the work that you do with early childhood educators and potential educators. You spend countless hours working to build the supply of quality child care either by providing professional development opportunities and coaching to existing child care programs or seeking out and helping individuals open new child care programs. It is important that you have the resources that you need to help with this work.

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The Kindergarten Connection

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on November 29, 2018

Ensuring that children are ready to enter school to learn and succeed is not only the parents' job. In fact, a national study released in April 1998, "Kindergarten Teachers and Classrooms: A Transition Context" emphasizes that the responsibility for successful transitions to kindergarten go beyond the kindergarten teachers as well.

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A Propósito Del Kinder

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on November 29, 2018

La Transición al Kinder es un Momento Crucial en el Desarrollo del Niño

Asegurarse de que los niños al entrar a la escuela estén listos para aprender y tener éxito, no es responsabilidad exclusiva de los padres. En realidad, en un nuevo estudio nacional divulgado en abril de 1998, de título "Kindergarten Teachers and Classrooms: A Transition Context," se recalca que la responsabilidad de que la transición de un niño al kindergarten sea exitosa va más allá de las maestras de kindergarten solamente.

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Support for Those Impacted by CA Wildfires: A Note from Our Deputy Executive Director

By Michelle McCready, Deputy Executive Director on November 27, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America stands with our friends in California who are working tirelessly to support children and families who have been impacted by the devastating wildfires. The organization will continue to support our members and partners through our emergency preparedness work, offering resources and assistance.

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Child Care Aware® of America Offers Brain-Building Tips During Vroom Week: A creative approach to everyday interactions can help build children’s brains

By Rae Pickett on November 26, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is proud to host Vroom Week from November 26-30, 2018 to encourage families and caregivers to use simple prompts during daily moments to help build children’s brains.

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How CCR&Rs Can Improve Access to Healthy Living in Their Community

By Krista Scott on November 23, 2018

All children deserve to live their healthiest life, but not all children have access to the things they need to do so. At Child Care Aware® of America, we know the importance of you, the child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies—how you shape the way parents engage with providers and provide the child care workforce with training that supports children and families. That’s why we’re providing the tools you need to advocate, innovate and create healthier communities. We want to ensure that children who may not have access to healthy food or active play at home, still have the chance to get that access elsewhere in their community.

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How to Tie In Giving Tuesday to Your Fundraising Efforts

By Bea Trapasso Dermer on November 20, 2018

 

Giving Tuesday, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, is an international day of philanthropy, and for many charities, serves as the informal “kick-off” to their holiday giving campaigns. In 2017, over $300 million was raised online and 2.5 million people worldwide participated by making a gift.   

The official Giving Tuesday website provides some examples of how local nonprofits used Giving Tuesday to successfully raise funds. For Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies, Giving Tuesday represents a wonderful opportunity to reach out to parents and others in the community to raise awareness of the many services you provide beyond referrals.  

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New Grant to Support Increasing Access to High-Quality Child Care-Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Funds Unique National Partnership Led by NAEYC

By Gill Walker on November 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC —  The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) today announced the receipt of a $1 million, one-year grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support a unique multi-organizational advocacy and action strategy designed to increase equitable access to high-quality child care. Working in partnership with the Bipartisan Policy Center, the Center for American Progress, Child Care Aware of America, and the First Five Years Fund, this effort is designed to bolster current and ongoing efforts to help states across the nation maximize the recent and historic increase in federal child care funding provided by Congress.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Steps for Toothbrushing at the Table

By Laurie Rackas on November 14, 2018

The Problem:

Early childhood programs are great places to help children learn good health habits, including oral health habits. But having children brush one at a time at the sink can be messy and time consuming.

One Solution: 

A group activity known as toothbrushing at the table, in which children and staff sit around a table and brush together. It allows staff to model, coach, and encourage good toothbrushing skills. 

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Agents of Change: Introducing a Familiar Face as Deputy Executive Director

By Brenda Zedlitz on November 13, 2018

I am often asked what we “do” at Child Care Aware® Across America. My favorite answer is, “we change the world for children and those who care about and for them.” This audacious statement inevitably leads to a deeper conversation about children, families and the critical issue of child care in our nation.

With a vision and mission statement that “ensure[s] every family in the United States has access to a high-quality, affordable child care system” and to “advance a child care system that effectively serves all children and families”, we have to approach our work with a boldness that comes from a deep understanding of why we do what we do.

Knowing our “why” equips us to become agents of change who will make the vision and mission at Child Care Aware® of America, a reality.

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Child Care Resource & Referral: The Secret Solution

By Jen Bump on November 9, 2018

Editor’s Note: This is the first installment in a series on CCR&Rs that is meant to be shared with policy makers, government administrators and other new and prospective investors who may not understand the opportunities CCR&Rs offer when addressing America’s child care challenges. Please leave us your insights and feedback in the comments below. We will take your feedback, and then turn these blog posts into an e-book that you can then use as a tool to describe the nature, capabilities and benefits of the CCR&R system.

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Fundraising Resources in Your Community and Online

By Bea Trapasso Dermer on November 8, 2018

    

Child Care Resource and Referral (CC&R&) Agencies are among the most important non-profit agencies in communities, connecting parents with needed services, building capacity in the child care market, and educating businesses and elected officials on child care needs. Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) wants to support your efforts in connecting with the broader non-profit and philanthropic community. Here are a few organizations that you may want to connect with—in person and online—to jumpstart fundraising activities.

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Child Care and US: How Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies Can Help

By Guest Blogger on November 5, 2018

As a single parent, Sheena struggled to find high-quality, affordable child care. She found a child care resource and referral agency that helped her find the balance of affordability and quality.

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Is My Child Safe?

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on November 1, 2018

It's natural to worry a little. Parents know that young children need constant supervision. They take steps to "childproof" their homes. And still, children's energy and curiosity can bring them into contact with safety hazards every day.

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¿Está Seguro Mi Hijo?

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on November 1, 2018

Es natural preocuparse un poco. Los padres saben que los niños pequeños necesitan supervisión constante. Toman medidas para poner sus casas "a prueba de niños." Y aun así, la energía y la curiosidad de los niños pueden ponerlos en contacto con peligros para su seguridad todos los días.

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Get Ready for Vroom Week 2018!

By Patience Hill on October 31, 2018

 

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is preparing to celebrate brain building for children birth to five with their annual Vroom Week November 26 – 30. Vroom is an early learning initiative that empowers parents, families and child care providers to turn everyday moments into brain-building moments with children up to 5 years old. Vroom is based on the latest science and designed to fit into every day routines.

During Vroom Week CCAoA will post daily Vroom tips with suggested activities for parents/families/child care providers to engage in with children for each themed day. Here are the daily themes and a brain-building tip to go with each day. You can use these exact activities or let the theme of the day inspire you to come up with your own game!

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Why I Chose Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) Care

By Guest Blogger on October 30, 2018

Twenty-two years ago I began the difficult quest of finding a child care provider that I could trust for my six-month-old son. Center-based care for Diego was out of the question. I wanted him in a “homey” place with a provider who could offer a seamless transition from home to child care in a location that was convenient to my work schedule as a social worker, which often included evenings.

I finally settled on my neighbor down the street, whom I’ll call Teresita for this post. Teresita was the prototype of a good family, friend, and neighbor (FFN) provider. She was warm and loving, spoke Spanish, cooked the pupusas and black beans that my son loved, and even had a granddaughter who was a little older than Diego, who became his “more knowledgeable other.” Teresita was wonderful and our families became close.

When my son turned two, feeling like he needed more stimulation—more educational toys, more “quality”—I moved him to a licensed Family Child Care (FCC) provider. She was great, but my son suffered because his new provider only spoke English. He also wasn’t used to the peanut butter sandwiches she provided or to being the only brown child. I started to ask myself questions like, What is quality? Why should I have to sacrifice culture and language, which meant a great deal to my family and my child, for “early childhood quality.”

As a parent, shouldn’t I be able to have both? What if I could help Teresita gain knowledge of early childhood education strategies that she could implement with my son? Wouldn’t that be the ideal situation?

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The Aftermath: How a Texas CCR&R Supported Providers Affected by Hurricane Harvey

By Guest Blogger on October 24, 2018

One year later, memories of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are grey and hazy, much like the lingering autumn skies that dropped trillions of gallons of water across Greater Houston. Before the flood waters receded, Collaborative for Children, the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency for the 13-county Greater Houston region, faced a critical challenge; with so many child care providers reaching out to report damage and rising concern that the storm had destabilized the entire child care network, who should step forward to seek solutions? With so much at stake, the Collaborative for Children made the decision to step forward.

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The Cost of Child Care 2018: a Burden for Families across the Country

By Chrisi West on October 22, 2018

Every single day in the United States families are faced with not having affordable child care. One of the highlights of our 2018 report, The US and the High Cost of Child Care, is the regional examination that takes a critical look at this issue of equity in child care.

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Child Care Aware® of America’s 12th Annual Cost of Care Report Shows Child Care Outpaces Nearly All Other Family Expenses Nationwide

By Meghan Cornwell on October 22, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA)  today released its 12th annual The US and the High Cost of Child Care: A Review of Prices and Proposed Solutions for a Broken System which found that child care is unaffordable in all 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. For 30 years, CCAoA has been the leading voice for quality, affordable child care in the United States. Of note, our findings showed that across all states, the cost of center-based infant care exceeds 27 percent of median household income for single working parents—these impacts were exacerbated for parents and families of color in 2017.

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Child Care is a Community Issue

By Chrisi West on October 22, 2018

Imagine a world where all children start their lives with high-quality education, where all parents can go to work knowing their child is safe, where the folks doing the important work of teaching our youngest all have access to benefits and fair wages. This is far from our reality today, but this is our vision.

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All In the Family - Using Relatives for Child Care

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on October 18, 2018

If a relative cares for your children while you work, you may have an ideal child care solution. Who can offer better care than a trusted family member? Like other parents, you may have selected relative care for one or more of the following reasons:

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Todo Queda en la Familia - Cuidado de Ninos por Parientes

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on October 18, 2018

Si un pariente cuida a sus hijos mientras trabaja, usted tal vez haya encontrado una solución ideal para su cuidado. ¿Quién puede ofrecer mejor cuidado que un miembro de confianza de la familia? Al igual que otros padres, usted puede haber seleccionado a un pariente por una o más de las razones siguientes:

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Introducing: Member Meet Ups

By Sara Diamond on October 18, 2018

 

Dear Diary,

When I’m attending a conference for work, I’m usually so tired from attending sessions all day that I just grab a quick bite from the hotel’s restaurant and crash in the evening. Plus, I hate eating alone in public. It’s so boring!

But today was different. Tonight, I was invited to meet up with a few other members of Child Care Aware® of America, an organization that I joined a while back. Until now, I’ve not really had an opportunity to meet anyone who works there or network with other members. I was a little unsure of what to expect, but everyone was friendly, and the conversation was good! It was wonderful to meet others with the passion for quality care for children and great to meet other people like me. Now that I think about it, I would have never had conversations with members from other states, and I learned so much! It was insightful and a good time all around.

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5 Key Elements for CCR&Rs Providing Post-Disaster Support

By Guest Blogger on October 17, 2018

One year later, memories of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey are grey and hazy, much like the lingering autumn skies that dropped trillions of gallons of water across Greater Houston. Before the flood waters receded, Collaborative for Children, the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency for the 13-county Greater Houston region, faced a critical challenge; With so many child care providers reaching out to report damage and rising concern that the storm had destabilized the entire child care network, we made the decision to step forward.

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Reflections from a Child Care and Early Learning Family Advocate

By Guest Blogger on October 11, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America believes that every family has an important perspective to be considered when making decisions in child care and early learning programs, state systems and nationwide. We recently sat down with Sosha, a vocal child care advocate, so she could share her journey into advocacy with you. 

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Health Resource Spotlight: Emergency Preparedness Manual for Early Childhood Programs

By Laurie Rackas on October 10, 2018

The Problem 

By law, child care programs must have a disaster plan to keep children and staff safe in an emergency. However, developing one can be complicated. 

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Nuevas Investigaciones Importantes para Padres

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on October 4, 2018

Naturaleza o Crianza

Usted ha oído hablar de naturaleza o crianza. Es el clásico debate sobre la manera en que los niños crecen y desarrollan sus personalidades. "Naturaleza" se refiere a la idea de que los niños nacen de la manera que son, y que lo que nosotros hacemos tiene muy poca influencia sobre lo que van a ser. "Crianza" se refiere a la idea de que el ambiente en que se desenvuelve el niño y la manera en que lo crían son el factor fundamental en su desarrollo.

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Important Research for Parents

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on October 4, 2018

Have you heard? It seems as if everybody is talking about "brain development" - the term being used to describe new research into the importance of a child's earliest experiences. You may have read about it in a magazine, or seen it on the web. Maybe you're hearing it for the first time right here. What parents have known for years - that good early experiences are good for our children - is now being proven by doctors and scientists at research centers and universities all over the country.

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Federal Employees & Members of the Military Show Some Love to CCAoA with CFC #12300

By Bea Dermer on October 1, 2018

Do you believe all families should have access to affordable, high-quality child care? Are you a federal employee or member of the military? Then you still have time to select Child Care Aware® of America as your CFC charity of choice! Please visit this website for more information. Do you know any federal employees? Then let them know about the importance of child care!

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Congress Approves Bill That Provides Strong Support for Child Care Programs

By Jay Nichols on September 27, 2018

Last night, the House of Representatives completed the FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill (it also includes the Department of Defense's budget) that, once again, honors the two-year congressional budget agreement by prioritizing funding for early childhood and child care programs.

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Shape the Future in Child Care: Submit Your Nomination for the Board of Directors

By Steve Rohde on September 25, 2018

Right now, we are in a critical time to support access to a high-quality and affordable child care system for all families. You can contribute to this critical mission by nominating yourself or others to be considered for a board position with Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA). The call for Board of Directors nominations is open from September 19 through October 19, 2018.

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Statement from the Executive Director on the Administration’s Proposed Public Charge Rule

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on September 24, 2018

"Science has shown that when children experience stressful or toxic environments, it is traumatic for future development, which is why it is critical to ensure that children and families who need access to basic services such as food, housing, health and child care can access it,” said Dr. Lynette M. Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware® of America. “CCAoA supports the healthy growth and development of children and families and that changing the definition of a ‘public charge’ would hurt all families and all communities. Our nation has nothing to gain by creating fear and uncertainty with this public charge change for children and families with low-incomes, regardless of their documentation status.”

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New Consumer Education Tools & Resources Created with the CCR&R in Mind

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on September 21, 2018

 

As a Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency, you play an important role in ensuring consumers receive quality information and are engaged around early care and education topics. That’s why Child Care Aware® of America created a new section of our website devoted to information and materials that can help you:

  1. Inform and engage early care and education professionals, families and community stakeholders using best-practices;
  2. Share content that speaks to an array of family experiences, especially those outlined in Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG); and
  3. Reach families at various points in their journeys, when they will benefit from it the most.

 

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Data Management for CCR&Rs

By Liz Pettit on September 19, 2018

As a Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R), you are in the important (and messy) business of getting, using, and reporting data of all kinds. Data is critical to helping CCR&Rs serve providers and families with the most up-to-date information. Capturing this data over time also helps us understand trends in child care so we can target limited funding and services for the greatest impact.

But we all know there are many challenges with managing data. So how do we make sure everyone has the tools to be able to contribute to high-quality data? A little investment in developing your organization’s data literacy and creating an intentional data culture can go a long way. Try the strategies below and comment or email us if there are other steps you’ve taken that have helped you.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Resources to Support Families Experiencing Homelessness

By Laurie Rackas on September 18, 2018

The Problem 

Every year, more than one million children under 6 years old in the U.S. experience homelessness. How can providers support these vulnerable children and their families? 

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Success in Massachusetts: A Little Help on Advocacy Can Help Secure Big Funding

By Chrisi West on September 17, 2018

Massachusetts was in search of more funding for its Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies after a massive cut to their budget line in 2010. Since then, CCR&Rs in the state have had to continue to do their critical work of managing cases, providing referrals and subsidies and more, despite a 16% increase in workload and decreased funding.

Child Care Aware® of America’s (CCAoA) advocacy team worked with our friends at the Massachusetts CCR&R to help them launch a new digital action center on their network website and come up with an actionable alert and email to share with their appropriate email list. Their goal was to restore the previous funding cut and bring the budget line item for CCR&R work back up to full funding.

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Child Abuse and Neglect: Prevention and Response

By Guest Blogger on September 13, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America stands alongside families, providers, and the public in our shared commitment to the safety and well-being of children in child care. In 2016, an estimated 676,000[1] children in the United States were victims of neglect or abuse. A small fraction of that total – 2,104 substantiated cases – involved a child care provider. That’s unacceptable and a legitimate cause for concern among families and the general public. Continue reading to meet Amber, a mother of two young children living in the Midwest. She believes her story is a cautionary example of how flaws in how reports of child maltreatment are investigated and substantiated may lead to dismissal of legitimate cases.

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CCR&Rs and Eligibility Workers

By Brenda Zedlitz on September 13, 2018

 

Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies are sometimes well-kept secrets in the world just peripheral to child care. We recently found this to be true when my colleagues, Courtnie Wheeless, Florida Office of Early Learning, Marlana Kelly and Lei Kendale, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAOA) External Affairs, and I accepted an invitation to present at the 2018 NEW PATHS Conference in Orlando, Florida.

Our goal was simple: To share resources and knowledge to increase effectiveness of services to children and families in the areas of early child education and child care. Our objectives were to provide an overview of the work and mission of CCAoA and the Florida Office of Early Learning, to introduce CCR&Rs as a resource for eligibility workers, to provide practical application for a child care search, and, finally, to learn from the field of eligibility workers how our work intersects. 

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Brain-Building Partnership: Apply for this Vroom Opportunity

By Patience Hill on September 12, 2018

In August, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced the renewal of our partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation on supporting early care and education professionals as brain builders through Vroom. Now we are accepting applications from State and local CCR&R agencies interested in a nine-month family engagement project through the Vroom Partnership.

As a part of this opportunity, CCAoA will select 10 additional CCR&Rs to be part of a fully-supported training, outreach and promotional initiative to inspire the full potential of brain-building moments with young children based on the strength of their applications. 

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10 Ways CCR&Rs Can Engage the Community around Power to the Profession

By Karen Ruprecht on September 10, 2018

Now that you understand how important Power to the Profession is for the early childhood education and how you can best prepare your staff, it’s time to think about how you can engage the community in conversations about the initiative. But where should you start?

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7 Steps for Successful Succession Planning

By Mindy Bennett on September 6, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) was originally known as the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA).  It was founded in 1987 by a group of dedicated child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency leaders that banded together to create a national membership agency to help them advance their collective mission. Child care across the nation has come a long way in the past thirty years thanks to the dedicated leaders that began the CCR&R field.

Topics: Workforce
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3 Ways to Improve Your Agency's Facebook Page

By Meghan Cornwell on September 6, 2018

“We have a Facebook page but we don’t get a lot of engagement on it.”

I’ve heard this sentiment time and time again while helping CCR&Rs and providers with their social media marketing strategy. Each time I hear that, I ask the following questions:

  • How often do you post on it?
  • Do you have a content schedule?
  • What’s been your most engaging post in the last few months?
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Congress Returns With a Full Agenda and Little Time to Act

By Jay Nichols on September 4, 2018

Both the House and Senate returned to Washington, D.C. and have a total of 11 scheduled legislative days before September 30, which is the end of the current fiscal year. In order to avoid a shutdown, Congress must either finish all 12 FY 2019 appropriations bills in the next few weeks, which hasn't happened in over 20 years, or pass a continuing resolution (CR) funding some, if not all, federal agencies and programs. Congressional leaders will meet this week to negotiate and propose packaging spending bills together, with the first likely being Energy and Water-Legislative Branch-Military Construction, in the hope of reaching agreements that can pass both chambers before the end of the month.

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Encouraging Child Care Providers to Include Emergency Planning on Their Back-to-School Checklists

By Holly Nett on September 4, 2018

As child care providers prepare for young learners to return to their classrooms, it’s important that they add an emergency plan to their program. It’s unfortunate that we have to think about dangerous situations—natural disasters, fires, bomb threats and dangerous intruders—but it’s necessary to have a plan in place. Through effective preparation, CCR&Rs can help providers prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations.

Do the child care providers you work with have emergency plans? We hope they do, but if not, here are some critical first steps.

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Using the State Fact Sheets for Advocacy

By Jessica Tercha on August 30, 2018

One of the most exciting things about working for Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is the incredible emphasis put on research to drive policy “asks” and advocacy efforts. We spend a lot of time hashing out the best language to use to be sure that our messaging is relevant, appropriate, and research-informed. For the research team, there’s nothing like knowing that the reports and analyses we put a lot of effort into are actually being read. However, the tremendous network of advocates who go to CCAoA for resources do more than read—they take action!

For this post, research is collaborating with Child Care Works to give you some ideas on how to use CCAoA’s most recent, research-based resource, the 2018 State Fact Sheets to advocate for change.

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Public Investments in Early Care and Education Could Help End Poverty

By Guest Blogger on August 30, 2018

Achievement gaps start early for children in families with low incomes. Access to high-quality early care and education programs help young children develop social and emotional, language, and academic skills needed to succeed. In this blog, you will hear from Ashley, a family advocate who uses her personal experience to make the case for why it's important for states and communities to invest in early care and learning programs as one strategy for ensuring the next generation has the skills they need to overcome poverty.  

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Preparing for Wildfires: The Reality of Today

By Kati Wilkins on August 28, 2018

With wildfires spreading across the West, many cities and states are being impacted both directly by the fires and by the resulting air pollution from the smoke. This week, Seattle topped the list of worst air pollution in the world, and Washington state and Oregon had 4 of the top 5 worst air pollution days in the country due to the smoke from wildfires, with air that was rated as either unhealthy or very unhealthy.

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What Is Leadership Institute?

By Mindy Bennett on August 27, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America’s 2018 Leadership Institute is just a little over a month away and I cannot wait! This year’s Institute is being held in beautiful Denver, Colorado, at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel from Sunday, September 30th to Wednesday, October 3rd. As a child care resource and referral (CCR&R) professional working in Indiana, Leadership Institute was always my favorite event of the year. It was the one time of year where I could meet up with CCR&R leaders from across the nation, learn about their successes and their struggles, and pick the brains of some of the brightest people in the field.

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Mobile Texting Success Stories: Kansas and Florida

By Adina Young on August 24, 2018

In a recent post, we talked about the benefits of mobile texting for CCR&Rs and child care providers. In this post, we’ll look at two case studies of successful mobile texting in action.

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6 Ways to Get Your Staff Involved with Power to the Profession

By Karen Ruprecht on August 22, 2018

Power to the Profession is a big deal for CCR&R agencies. By establishing a unifying framework for the early childhood profession—including career pathways, qualifications, and compensation—this national collaboration holds the potential to impact how CCR&R agencies conduct business in the future. It’s important to be prepared, but where do you even start?

We’ve compiled a few ideas for involving staff in conversations about Power to the Profession.

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How CCR&Rs and Child Care Programs Can Effectively Communicate Using Mobile Texting

By Adina Young on August 15, 2018

In the beginning of the century, just 62 percent of Americans owned a cell phone. Fast forward to today and 95 percent own a cellphone and almost every owner is texting. Cell phone ownership and usage is nearly universal amongst all demographic groups with even those ages 65 and older beginning to find use in the devices.

We have hit the point where mass messages are more likely to be read immediately upon text message delivery versus when sent in traditional newsletters or emails. Studies indicate that anywhere between 95-98 percent of text messages are opened, as compared to 15% of emails.

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Resource and Referral’s Role in Supporting Breastfeeding

By Krista Scott on August 7, 2018

Some families where breast milk is milk of choice don’t always rely on the mother to handle feeding. Sometimes, the mom pumps milk so that co-parents or other family members participate in the feeding process—and sometimes provide breast milk to child care providers to feed infants too.  

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Child Care Aware® of America Report Shows Snapshot of Child Care Landscape Nationally and At State Level

By Rae Pickett on August 7, 2018

Washington, DC – Today, Child Care Aware® of America released its 2018 Checking In: A Snapshot of the Child Care Landscape, a report that summarizes the supply and demand for child care in each state, the average cost of licensed and accredited child care, and the services provided by Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies. The report also sheds light on state Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) and other statewide initiatives, resulting in findings that show a positive return on investment for quality child care and the overall health and wellness of children.

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The 2018 State Fact Sheets Shows How the Current Landscape is Affecting Working Families

By Jessica Tercha on August 7, 2018

The evidence is clear - children who participate in high-quality programs during their early years demonstrate lasting effects in IQ, boosted academic and economic achievement, and lower incidences of childhood obesity and chronic illness. With nearly 15 million children under 6 who may need child care each day, the stakes have never been higher for families across the United States and for our economy. Economists have shown that investing in high-quality child care has proven to result in a 13 percent return on that investment, per child. Families without access to quality child care due to high cost, irregular work hours, or inadequate supply, are at an extreme disadvantage; their children and our society lose out. Help for families struggling to pay for quality child care is pivotal to supporting quality child care across the country.

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Top 10 Things CCR&Rs Need to Know about Power to the Profession

By Karen Ruprecht on August 7, 2018

If you’re like most CCR&R professionals out there, you’ve likely heard about the Power to the Profession initiative, but you might not know much about it. Maybe you know the initiative was started to transform the early childhood field but aren’t sure what that really means or entails. Maybe you’re already excited about Power to the Profession but you’re still unclear what it has to do with you as a CCR&R or what you can do to get involved.  

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Using Paid Advertising to Market Your CCR&R Agency

By Meghan Cornwell on August 6, 2018

If you're like most child care resource and referral agencies, you want to get the word out about your agency so that providers, families, and community partners know about your agency and the services you provide, but you have just a small advertising budget to work with. Paid online advertising is a great place to start. Jumping into paid ads can seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to be. In this post, we’ll break down the two main kinds of paid advertising—paid search and paid social—to help you decide where to begin.

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Child Care Aware® of America Furthers Partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation to Boost Family Engagement

By Rae Pickett on August 2, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) and the Bezos Family Foundation announce their continued partnership and renewed focus on supporting early care and education professionals as brain builders through Vroom.

Vroom is a global initiative that empowers parents and caregivers, including early care and education professionals, to boost children’s early learning and development through science-based tips and activities.  Vroom encourages families and caregivers to use routine interactions, like bath time and grocery shopping, to engage with children, strengthening their brain architecture and helping ensure children have a strong foundation for lifelong learning.  Vroom reaches families by working with trusted nonprofits, brand and media companies, and technology—including a mobile app, Vroom by Text, and an Alexa Skill.  All materials are free of cost, simple enough to fit into parents’ daily routines, and available right at their fingertips.
This expanded partnership will provide opportunities for deeper integration of advancements in brain science within Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies and with child care providers, and increase the reach of Vroom to families.  CCAoA will manage two successive application processes and select two cohorts of ten CCR&R Vroom ambassadors who will strategically embed Vroom into their local family and community outreach services.

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VIDEO: Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies Are Here For You

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on July 30, 2018

The end of summer is a busy time for families seeking child care. This video describes what families and child care resource and referral (CCR&R) professionals, from around the nation, have to say about child care assistance available in your community.

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Resource and Referral's Role in Supporting Breastfeeding

By Krista Scott on July 18, 2018

Some families where breast milk is milk of choice don't always rely on the mother to handle feeding. Sometimes, the mom pumps milk so that co-parents or other family members participate in the feeding process—and sometimes provide breast milk to child care providers to feed infants too.  

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Health Resource Spotlight: Responsive Feeding Modules

By Laurie Rackas on July 17, 2018

The Problem 

Many different adults can impact the way a baby or child eats, including parents/caregivers and providers. However, those important adults may not understand or practice responsive feeding – the process of recognizing an infant's cues for hunger or fullness and responding appropriately.  

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Senate Holds Hearing on Paid Family Leave for Working Families

By Jay Nichols on July 12, 2018

On July 11, the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security, Pensions and Family Policy hosted a hearing examining the importance of paid family leave. Subcommittee Chairman, Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and Ranking Member Sherrod Brown (D-OH) sponsored the hearing and witnesses included Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), along with Dr. Andrew Biggs from the American Enterprise Institute, Vicki Shabo of the National Partnership for Women and Families, and Carolyn Boyle from Deloitte Services, LLP.

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Why do parents spend so much on child care, yet early childhood educators earn so little?

By Jessica Tercha on July 11, 2018

For more than 10 years, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) has reported on the unaffordability of child care for parents in states across the country. We’ve been expanding that reporting by diving deeper into county-level costs and exploring national, state-and community-level financing solutions to provide working families with some relief. Even as we’ve kept discussions on the unaffordability of child care going strong, we are often asked, “If parents are paying too much of their household budgets on child care, why are child care providers still struggling to make ends meet?” It’s a good question – one that I’ve had since I started CCAoA!

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Senate Appropriations Committee Approves FY 2019, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill

By Jay Nichols on June 28, 2018

Earlier today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a FY 2019 spending package by a 30-1 vote that proposes funding levels for child care and other early childhood programs for next year. The bill includes $5.3 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is the same level the House Appropriations Committee proposed earlier this month, and honors the two-year congressional budget deal. The legislation urges states to use the funding to assist in compliance with the 2014 law and expand access to quality, affordable care.

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Prevent to Protect: The Most Common Unheard of Viral Cause of Birth Defect

By Guest Blogger on June 28, 2018

It’s National Cytomegalovirus (CMV) Awareness Month, however, most women have never heard of CMV (less than 9 percent).

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Power to the Profession Webinar: Innovative Strategies to Engage Staff and Providers

By Karen Ruprecht on June 25, 2018

What can Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&Rs) agencies do and how can they most effectively share information about Power to the Profession with the field? Join us for a webinar, "What can your CCR&R do to prepare for the evolution of the ECE profession?," on July 10 from 2:30-3:30 pm EST as we talk with our colleagues at Child Care Answers, a child care resource and referral agency in Indiana, to learn about innovative strategies they are using to help engage and inform their staff and child care providers in their area about Power to the Profession.

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Kawasaki Disease: What All Families and Providers Should Know

By Guest Blogger on June 21, 2018

 

On October 2, 2016, my son Myles, then 4 months old, had a fever. His older sister had just been sick, so my husband and I thought Myles had caught a bug from her. Poor little guy. I guess that’s how it goes when you have multiple kids with exposure to a lot of germs in one house.

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Statement: The Effects of Separation Policy are Devastating and Potentially Life-long

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on June 19, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Dr. Lynette M. Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware® of America, issued the following statement on the federal policy of separating children from their families when crossing the southern border into the United States:

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The Child Care and Development Fund: What CCR&Rs Should Know

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on June 19, 2018

 

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House Subcommittee Approves Appropriations Bill With Proposed Funding for ECE Programs

By Jay Nichols on June 15, 2018

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education approved its FY 2019 appropriations bill that includes proposed funding levels for child care and other early childhood programs. The Subcommittee includes $5.2 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which is the same level as FY 2018.  While this is good news, and upholds the two-year congressional budget agreement from earlier this year, far more is needed in order to meet the child care need in the United States.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Interactive Learning Modules for Child Care Health Consultants (CCHCs)

By Laurie Rackas on June 14, 2018

The Problem 

CCHCs are health professionals who also are knowledgeable about child health, child development and health and safety in child care. But their training may not have equipped them with some skills (e.g., communicating effectively with programs) that are essential to their work.  

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Final Child Care and Development Fund Plan Preprint Published for FY 2019

By Meghan Cornwell on June 11, 2018

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Raising a Reader

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on June 1, 2018

Nurturing a Love for Reading

Nurturing a love for reading and writing is a role that parents can play in their children's lives. Success in school and later careers depends on having good reading and writing skills. These days we constantly hear about the importance of literacy. What does literacy mean? It's the ability to read and write.

Topics: Parenting
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When It Comes To Child Care In America, The Cavalry IS Coming

By Guest Blogger on June 1, 2018

 

Moms-in-Film co-founder and Board President Christy Lamb
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Announcing the Family and Community Engagement: Promising Practices Spotlight Series

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on May 24, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America is rolling out a new informative series that illuminates exemplary family and community engagement practices. The Family and Community Engagement: Promising Practices Spotlight Series highlights and celebrates innovative, high-quality family and community engagement programs occurring in a range of early childhood settings. We hope this series will not only introduce you to successful initiatives making an impact in communities across the nation, but that it will inspire you as child care resources and referral staff (CCR&Rs), child care providers and other early childhood leaders as you advance your work with families and communities.
Kicking off the Spotlight Series:  The first spotlight in our series shines on, Apoyando Familias, Aprendiendo Juntos (Supporting Families, Learning Together), a radio show that connects weekly with Spanish-speaking families and caregivers. The program is a product of Wisconsin’s statewide network CCR&R, Supporting Families Together Association. This program demonstrates how organizations can leverage media outreach to create meaningful dialogue with and meet the needs of diverse families with young children and their communities.

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2018 Hurricane Season: Let's Get Ready

By Julie Looper Coats on May 23, 2018

The 2018 hurricane season is almost upon us and Child Care Aware® of America wants to ensure that you and those for which you care are ready!

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Safety and Injury Prevention Curriculum

By Fatima Tunkara on May 22, 2018

The Problem

The number one cause of death and disability for children in the U.S. is from injuries. Most injuries are preventable AND predictable.

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Mapping the Gaps in Infant & Toddler Care Supply and Demand

By Maggie Norton on May 16, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America is excited to release four new story maps examining gaps in child care supply and demand  for infants and toddlers. Child care slots for children age birth to three can be both difficult to find and unaffordable for many  families. Our Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) partners in Alaska, Arizona, Delaware and Hawaii wanted  to investigate the supply and demand for infant-toddler care in their states, in addition to mapping child care supply and demand for children under six with all parents in the labor force.  Our findings were quite shocking:

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VIDEO: The Importance of Finding a Child Care Center You Trust

By Guest Blogger on May 11, 2018

Sosha unfortunately had to bounce around from child care to child care due to lack of affordability. But in 2012 - she found the child care center of her dreams!

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Alabama Family Advocates Make Lasting First Impression With Memorable Child Care Story

By Guest Blogger on May 9, 2018

 

Andy and Tametria Dantzler with Alabama Senator Doug Jones. (Photo courtesy of the Dantzlers.)
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Symposium 2018: Here’s What You May Have Missed

By Meghan Cornwell on May 8, 2018

We were absolutely thrilled to have almost 400 attendees from 41 states join us for this year’s Child Care Aware® of America 2018 Symposium April 17-20 at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C. We celebrated 30 years of passion and persistence and ignited possibilities! This biennial event brought child care experts, Child Care Resource and Referral leaders and staff, child care providers, researchers, policymakers, parents, students, and anyone interested from across the country come together to discuss the hottest topics of research, policy, and practices of interest to the early child care and education community.

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Addressing Trauma through Quality Early Learning Experiences

By Karen Ruprecht and Michelle Adkins on May 7, 2018

Early childhood professionals, researchers and policymakers are talking about childhood trauma. Traumatic events that children experience include abuse or neglect, divorce, or the incarceration of a parent. These experiences, known as adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), are common, often occur together and can impact long-term health outcomes such as heart disease, diabetes and even cancer.

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Child Care Aware® of America Releases Statement on SNAP

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on May 1, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Dr. Lynette M. Fraga, executive director of Child Care Aware® of America, issued the following statement on changes the House Agriculture Committee has approved for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the current version of the House Farm Bill (H.R. 2):

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Power to the Profession: Provide Feedback and Shape Your Future

By Karen Ruprecht on April 16, 2018

Child care resource and referral (CCR&Rs) agencies, you have the opportunity to help shape the future of the early care and education workforce!

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National Infant Immunization Week is Only A Week Away

By Julie Looper Coats on April 16, 2018

From April 21 – 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) along with partners, community leaders, healthcare professionals and stakeholders, will observe National Infant Immunization Week (NIIW). This annual observance highlights the importance of protecting infants from vaccine-preventable diseases and celebrates the achievements of immunization programs and their partners in promoting healthy communities.

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The Latest from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

By Laurie Rackas on April 16, 2018

Help CACFP Celebrate a Milestone 

The program turns 50 on May 8, 2018. Nemours Children’s Health System and the National Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Forum will be creating a billboard-sized birthday card on Capitol Hill. The card will be a mosaic of thousands of images from community programs serving CACFP meals and snacks. (Sorry, the deadline to submit photos has passed.) Some providers are hosting CACFP birthday parties in their programs. If you're interested, here are some places to go for party ideas: 

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Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Resources

By Laurie Rackas on April 13, 2018

The Problem 

Infant and early childhood mental health consultation (IECMHC) is an evidence-based intervention for supporting young children’s social-emotional development. It teams a mental health professional with early care and education professionals to improve children’s social, emotional and behavioral health. However, many child care providers may not have access to or may not know how to get the most out of a mental health consultant.  

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Child Care Aware® of America Offering full Vroom Track at Symposium 2018

By Meghan Cornwell on April 2, 2018

Vroom, in partnership with Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), continues to provide strong support and enrichment to the CCR&R community. CCAoA is excited to offer a full Vroom Track at Symposium 2018 this coming April.

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National Healthy Schools Day is April 3, 2018

By Jessica Rose-Malm on March 30, 2018

Child Care Aware® of America is joining the Healthy Schools Network and dozens of partners around the country to celebrate National Healthy Schools Day on April 3rd, 2018. For the past 16 years, National Healthy Schools Day has brought attention to the ways that school and child care environments can affect children's health. This year the focus is on lead exposure.

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Poison Prevention in Child Care

By Guest Blogger on March 23, 2018

Children grow rapidly, and their developmental milestones include significant emotional, social, intellectual and physical changes. Naturally, kids are inquisitive and learn by exploring—placing items in their mouths, opening containers and cabinets, and imitating other actions they see in the home or in child care. It is no surprise, then, that children ages six and under are vulnerable to possible exposures to unsafe chemicals and/or poison.

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FY2018 Appropriations Bill Passed in Senate

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on March 23, 2018

At Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), we are thrilled that the FY2018 appropriations bill has passed in the Senate, which includes an increase of $2.37 billion in the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). This funding is critical in supporting systems professionals, providers, children and families across the nation.

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Report: Arsenic in Nine Brands of Infant Cereal

By Maggie Norton on March 20, 2018

A recent report from Healthy Babies Bright Futures found that infant rice cereal has six times more arsenic than other types of infant cereal. That finding builds on the evidence from previous studies, including one from Consumer Reports.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Tell Me a Story

By Laurie Rackas on March 19, 2018

The Problem: 

One of the many responsibilities child care providers juggle is helping children develop their social-emotional skills. But providers need tools to guide their efforts. 

One Solution:

Both parents and early care and education professionals can use the Tell Me a Story series to support children’s healthy social-emotional development. It includes guides to six children’s books with social-emotional themes. 

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Health Resource Spotlight: The Latest from the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)

By Laurie Rackas on March 16, 2018

Explore 40 recipes inspired by the cuisines of Central and South America, Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia and the Pacific Islands. Easy-to-prepare and kid-tested, the recipes introduce a few new spices or ingredients without being overwhelming. Each includes information on how the ingredients in the recipe would be credited in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) meal pattern.

Find those recipes here.

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In Celebration and Memoriam of Dr. T Berry Brazelton, the Good Fight Must Continue

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on March 15, 2018

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton was a tireless and passionate pediatrician and advocate for babies, toddlers and their families. There are many across the country and over the years that have been impacted by and are now celebrating his life and contributions to the early childhood field.

In April of 2003, on my daughter’s due date, I was scheduled to travel with Dr. Brazelton to a military child care center in northern Virginia. Though many wondered if I would actually be able to make the trip, and, of course, backup arrangements were made, there was no way that I would miss both the opportunity to spend a day with Dr. Brazelton, or the opportunity to see him interact with the babies and their parents that would be greeting us. What a delight to see him in action and an inspiration to experience the sensitivity, respect and honor he paid to the families —many of whom were or would be experiencing separation due to deployment — and to the early childhood educators committed to so much of what he taught us, including the important role of adults in the lives of young children and the joy and growth that could come from that relationship.

Topics: News
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New Proposal to Transform Financing of Early Childhood Care

By Rae Pickett on March 13, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — Child Care Aware® of America endorses a recent report calling for an increased federal role in financing, quality assessment and professional development in early childhood education.

The report, “Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education,” released by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine on Feb. 22, calls for making the complex and fragmented early childhood field into a unified, well-compensated, educated and accountable profession.

Topics: News
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I Can't Have Another Child Because of the Cost of Child Care

By Guest Blogger on March 8, 2018

 

 I have a few more months until I can say I have officially finished school. I will have a newly minted master’s degree in social work with a lot of opportunity ahead of me (at least that’s what I keep telling myself). Unfortunately, I feel I am being a bit too optimistic because, let’s be honest, these are changing times (that’s what I’ve been told by older people).
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National Children's Dental Health Month is Over, But…

By Guest Blogger on March 6, 2018

Each February, the American Dental Association sponsors National Children’s Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the importance of oral health. Here are some tips for use year-round.

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Bezos Family to Receive Children's Champion Award

By Meghan Cornwell on February 28, 2018

As Albert Einstein said, "Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them." In that spirit, Child Care Aware® of America has found an ideal partner in Jackie and Mike Bezos, whose efforts to invest in science and create evidence-based learning opportunities are transforming the field of early learning. To honor their service, CCAoA is pleased to announce that on April 20 we will be awarding Jackie and Mike Bezos with the Children's Champion Award in philanthropy at our 30th Anniversary Gala in Washington, D.C.

Topics: News
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Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education

By Dionne Dobbins, Ph.D. on February 26, 2018

Last week, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) released their highly anticipated report Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education. The report explores how to finance quality early care and education (ECE) systems so that it is accessible to all families in all settings.

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Health Resource Spotlight: New Translations of Health Tips for Families

By Laurie Rackas on February 20, 2018

The Problem:

Many child care resources are available only in English. They are not accessible to the one in five U.S. families who speak a language other than English in their homes.

One Solution:

The Health Tips for Families Series —a collection of fact sheets for families—is now available in nine languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Vietnamese, Somali, Hmong, Burmese, and Amharic. The fact sheets allow providers to share information with families on health topics that are considered priorities by the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW). They also may help states and providers meet CCDF health and safety requirements.

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Health Resource Spotlight: I Like My Teeth

By Laurie Rackas on February 20, 2018

The Problem:

Children with poor oral health can experience a range of problems: difficulty concentrating due to tooth pain; health issues, such as infections; and impaired growth and development.

One Solution:

Four colorful and informative posters on oral health from the National Center on Early Childhood Health and Wellness (NCECHW).

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Making Strides Toward Healthier Child Care

By Jessica Rose-Malm on February 15, 2018

Ever since First Lady Michelle Obama launched her Let’s Move! campaign in 2010, childhood obesity prevention has gained a lot of attention. Experts agree that obesity prevention needs to start early, and child care programs are a great place for children to build the eating and active play habits that will help them grow up healthy. Child care providers, advocates, and policymakers throughout the country have invested time, money, and effort over the past eight years to make child care a healthier place for our youngest children. Has all that work made a difference? A new report by Healthy Eating Research takes a look at how far early care and education (ECE) policies, systems, and environments have come since 2010.

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The Lifetime Influence Child Care Providers Have on Children and Families

By Guest Blogger on February 9, 2018

Like many, I started providing child care as a means of supplementing family income while being able to stay home with my own children. I had previous experience in my teenage years as a steady date-night sitter and as a substitute at a center. I intended to be a provider for a few years.

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Submit Your Proposal to Provide Technical Assistance in Building Healthy Communities

By Krista Scott on February 8, 2018

With the support of Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is pleased to offer technical assistance (TA) to states on projects that support development or maintenance of quality child care settings that promote child health.

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Child Care Costs Outpace College Tuition: Action Is Needed

By Rae Pickett on February 8, 2018

 

2018 Policy Agenda Recommendations Would Improve Financial Stability for Millions of Americans if Enacted

The Child Care for Working Families Act is Top Priority

WASHINGTONFeb. 7, 2018 - With millions of American families struggling to afford and access quality child care, and early childhood education costs outpacing college tuition, Child Care Aware® of America today urged Congress to take swift action to relieve this financial burden. The organization's 2018 policy agenda calls on Congress to pass the Child Care for Working Families Act of 2017, provide at least a $1.4 billion increase to Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG) over 2018 levels, and strengthen quality standards for care provided under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. These policy recommendations follow Child Care Aware® of America's release of national and county-level data showing that child care is unaffordable in all 50 states. Massachusetts county-level data supplement and map can be found here.

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2018-2019 Child Care Policy Platform Highlights Critical Role of CCR&Rs

By Meghan Cornwell on February 7, 2018

While it is difficult to find agreement on many of our nation’s priorities, one thing is for sure – There is unprecedented agreement that child care is a critical issue in the United States today. In fact, a recent poll found that 97 percent of Democrats, 89 percent of Independents, and 87 percent of Republicans, say they favor government investments to make early education and child care more affordable.

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Investing in Early Childhood Pays Off

By Jessica Rose-Malm on January 30, 2018

Would you take this deal? Buy one year of college, get three more for no additional cost. A no-brainer, right? That’s similar to what happens when society invests in early childhood programs such as high quality child care, Head Start, Early Head Start, and home visiting programs. For every dollar spent, between two and four dollars are returned to the economy in various ways.

So says a new report released by the RAND Corporation, which studied the outcomes from 115 early education programs. Investing Early follows up on RAND’s 2005 review of early childhood programs. The report looks at a larger and more diverse set of early childhood interventions, including health-focused programs, community-based interventions, and programs that take a “two-generation approach” by working with children and their parents. Investing Early looks at the connections between early childhood programs and a broad set of individual and societal outcomes. It highlights health outcomes specifically and also evaluates the financial costs and benefits of investing in early childhood programs.

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January 2018 Child Care Provider of the Month — Learn ‘n Play Preschool

By Laurie Rackas on January 30, 2018

 

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Finding Flexible Child Care for Parents with Demanding Schedules

By Guest Blogger on January 25, 2018

Kathy, a married mother of three, struggled with finding a child care facility that could accept and accommodate her children’s unique needs, as well as her and her husband’s demanding work schedules. With the help of child care, she and her husband were no longer forced to alternate days off and were able to return to working regular schedules.

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Eco-Healthy Child Care’s E-Learning Course

By Guest Blogger on January 24, 2018

Have you ever heard that indoor air is often way more polluted than the outdoor air, and wondered whether that was actually true? It is, because in enclosed spaces the chemicals used in certain paints, varnishes, cleaners—and other pollutants including dirt, dust, dander—keep recirculating. So imagine what children in child care settings may be exposed to when they’re crawling around, sitting “criss-cross applesauce,” or breathing in the chemicals routinely used to clean-up after snack time.

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Child Care Aware® of America Awarded One-Year-Grant From Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

By Rae Pickett on January 22, 2018

Funding will power development of “Child Care Data Center” to streamline access, affordability and quality for families and providers through clear data

WASHINGTON, DC — Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), with support from a grant by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), will develop and test a web portal to drive improvements in the supply, quality, and affordability of child care. The “Child Care Data Center” will allow advocates and policy makers to identify critical needs and inequities in child care access, quality and affordability. The initial investment continues an ongoing partnership with RWJF to provide quality data for the child care field to rely upon internally and between states.

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Top 5 Victories in 2017 Paving the Way for A Successful 2018

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on January 20, 2018

Many families struggle to find child care that meets their needs and high-quality programs are difficult to find and typically have long waiting lists. We believe that no child or family should have to choose between affordability and quality. So we continue our work in convening thought-leaders, advocating on Capitol Hill, and keeping our communities abreast of the issues and solutions. We are proud of the efforts of our family advocates, staff, child care providers and the entire child care community!

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Flu Season is Here: Take Precautions to Keep You and Your Loved Ones Healthy

By Julie Looper Coats on January 18, 2018

According to the CDC, getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Brrr…

By Laurie Rackas on January 16, 2018

The Problem:

Much of the country has been struck this season by record low temperatures and never-before-seen snowfalls. How do we keep young children safe and warm through it all?

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7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Miss This Year’s Symposium and Annual Meeting

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on January 16, 2018

Join us in the nation’s capital for CCAoA’s 2018 Symposium and Annual Meeting. It is being held at the renowned Marriott Marquis—one great reason to attend. And while we believe that there are countless other reasons why you should participate, we’ve narrowed it to the “Seven Best”:

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Child Care Aware® of America Statement on New Medicaid Work Requirement Guidance

By Rae Pickett on January 16, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC — On the heels of the Trump Administration's decision to allow states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients, many of whom are children, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), executive director Dr. Lynette M. Fraga released the following statement:

Topics: News
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How I Navigated Finding Child Care, What I Learned

By Adina Young on January 11, 2018

Military Child Care vs. Civilian Child Care

"We are moving to Germany,” my husband told me as he got his first official orders for the U.S. Army. I was so excited to be moving overseas I didn’t even think ahead to the fact that I may not be able to work. I was pregnant at the time with my first son and had just finished my master’s degree in public health. I was excited to get into the field, but now, with an overseas move, I had to think about if there were actually any jobs for me there. For the rest of my pregnancy, I kept an eye out for positions that popped up and tried to see if it fit with our new life in Germany. “Does this help my career while I am stationed here? Where would the baby go for child care? How long before I am able to put him in child care? Do I trust the care provider? How much would it even cost to put the baby in child care?”

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Exceptional Family Member Program Respite Care Available For Military Families

By Laurie Rackas on January 3, 2018

Raising a child with disabilities can be rewarding in unexpected ways. There’s the pride of seeing your child master a new skill, often after a struggle that typically developing children never know. Naturally, there are challenges involved in caring for a child with special needs, especially if the child’s physical or developmental disability is severe. Parents often say they long for a break from the 24/7 demands of caretaking.

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The Top 5 Things CCR&Rs Should Do After a Disaster

By Adina Young on December 29, 2017

 

As the end of the year nears, CCAoA’s Emergency Preparedness Team has been reflecting on the disasters that struck in 2017. Top-of-mind, of course, are the hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Our team worked directly with CCR&Rs affected by the storms and the providers they serve. This is the last of three blogs on lessons learned and our team’s advice for CCR&Rs about the critical things they need to do before, during, and after a disaster.

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Could Your Cell Phone Really Save Your Life?

By Guest Blogger on December 28, 2017

Did you know the new iOS 11 feature on your iPhone allows you to call for Emergency SOS 911 help without using the keypad, even when your phone is locked? The great thing about this feature is that you can access emergency services silently and quickly.  Having a cell phone present during an emergency or disaster can be invaluable.  According to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), about 70 percent of 911 calls are placed from wireless phones and that number is growing.

We know that having a cell phone present during an emergency or disaster is great, nevertheless, simply having a cell phone with you during an emergency does not guarantee your safety. Understanding your cell phone’s emergency options and having them properly prepared and activated is key when your survival is at stake.

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Preparing Children for Healthy Lives

By Krista Scott on December 27, 2017

Child care prepares our littlest for the future, by helping them learn and grow. A lot of time and energy is spent making sure that children are healthy right now, today in child care—we create safe environments, we do health checks, and our licensing and monitoring visits are designed to make sure that there are no public health and safety threats.
But what if we looked at health the way we look at learning--not just as things we do to keep children and their families healthy today, but as the building blocks for long, healthy lives? What if the meals we serve weren't just about giving kids something to eat to fill their tummies now, but were seen as giving children experiences with food, which in turn develops preferences for food that fuel their bodies and protects them from chronic diseases, like diabetes?

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Help Can Come from an Unexpected Source

By Guest Blogger on December 21, 2017

Daniela Salinas’ access to quality child care has been limited by high costs.  Like many states around the nation the cost of child care in her home state is more expensive than college tuition.  Watch as Daniela shares how voucher and subsidy programs help families make child care more affordable and enabled her to finish college. Then, check out our 2017 Parents and the High Cost of Child Care report to find out how affordable child care is in your state.

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Congress Passes Tax Reform Legislation that Could Harm Millions of Children and Families

By Jay Nichols on December 20, 2017

Earlier today, the House of Representatives approved the Senate-passed tax reform legislation which will overhaul the tax code for the first time since the mid-1980s. President Trump is expected to sign this bill into law soon.

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Holiday Toy Safety: Making Smart Choices While Allowing Children to Have Fun

By Julie Looper Coats on December 20, 2017

The holiday season often brings an abundance of excitement for young children who anticipate receiving new toys and games. The gift givers’ tasks aren’t accomplished by simply finding and buying the wish list items—attention also needs to also be paid on ensuring that gifts are age appropriate and pose no safety hazards.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Tips for Keeping Children Safe - A Developmental Guide

By Laurie Rackas on December 19, 2017

The Problem:

We want young children to explore their environments, so they can acquire new skills and knowledge. Unfortunately, though, in the process of mastering skills such as eating solid foods or climbing, they can get injured.

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Health Resource Spotlight: New Resources, Guidance on Criminal Background Checks

By Laurie Rackas on December 18, 2017

The Problem:

States and territories must implement Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) requirements on criminal background checks, but those requirements are complicated and can be difficult to understand.

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Celebrating Child Care and Making Connections at the 2017 ZERO TO THREE Conference

By Patience Hill on December 18, 2017

 

Child Care Aware® of America was proud to be a Gold Sponsor of the recent 2017 ZERO TO THREE conference. The event brought over 3,000 early childhood professionals to San Diego, CA November 29-December 1 for three days of learning, networking, and socializing.

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Snow Safety: Five Steps to be Prepared

By Adina Young on December 18, 2017

With winter right around the corner and temperatures dropping fast, this is the perfect time to prepare for a possible winter emergency. Many people love the idea of a few inches of fluffy snow falling from the sky, but all too quickly, that few inches can morph into the winter storm of the year. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to ensure that you and your loved ones will be ready for and safe if severe weather strikes.

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Site Diagrams Made Easy – Do You Have One for Your Child Care Facility?

By Julie Looper Coats on December 15, 2017

An alarm rings…lights flash…you regularly practice fire drills, so you know this is the fire alarm. You need to evacuate, but what do you take with you?  Where is the closest exit?  What happens if the closest exit is blocked?  How can you evacuate yourself and your roomful of toddlers quickly and easily?

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The Top 5 Things CCR&Rs Should Do During a Disaster

By Adina Young on December 14, 2017

As the end of the year nears, CCAoA’s Emergency Preparedness Team has been reflecting on the disasters that struck in 2017. Top-of-mind, of course, are the hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Our team worked directly with CCR&Rs affected by the storms and the providers they serve. This is the second of three blogs on lessons learned and our team’s advice for CCR&Rs about the critical things they need to do before, during, and after a disaster. Here's what you can do before a disaster.

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National Child Nutrition Conference — Scholarships Available

By Jessica Rose-Malm on December 13, 2017

The 32nd annual National Child Nutrition Conference is scheduled for April 19-21, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. Hosted by the National CACFP Sponsors Association, this conference brings together professionals in the child nutrition community for three days of learning and networking. Over 1,000 participants from nutrition, nonprofit, education, and child care organizations in all 50 states are expected to attend this year. In addition to expert panels and networking sessions, attendees can choose from more than 100 workshops to learn practical skills, discover new resources, and explore their interests. To help ensure that everyone who is interested and invested can attend, the National Child Nutrition Foundation has over $20,000 in scholarships available.

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Child Care is Unaffordable Across the Nation

By Dionne Dobbins, Ph.D. on December 12, 2017

That’s the bottom line from CCAoA’s just-published report on Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2017. Our signature annual report is now in its eleventh year and this year, as in previous years, child care represents one of the most significant expenses in parents’ budgets. In all regions of the country, families average child care fees for an infant in a child care center are more than the average amount that families spend on food and transportation combined. And the average annual cost for an infant in center-based care was higher than a year’s tuition and fees at a four-year public college in 28 states and the District of Columbia!

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Report Shows Child Care Outpaces Nearly All Other Family Expenses Nationwide

By Rae Pickett on December 12, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Child Care Aware® of America today released its annual Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2017 report, which found that child care is unaffordable in all 50 states.

Child Care Aware® of America, the nation’s leading advocate for quality, affordable child care, found that child care fees for two children in 2016 exceeded mortgage payments in 35 states and the District of Columbia; while average annual cost for an infant in center-based care was higher than a year at a four-year public college in 28 states and the District of Columbia.  

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The Role Families Play in Identifying Child Care Challenges and Identifying Solutions

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on December 7, 2017

Children and their families are the heart of early care and education. We know that when child care providers and early educators work in close concert with families.

  • Young children gain a stronger foundation for learning and development,
  • Overall family well-being is enhanced, and
  • The early care workforce experiences greater job satisfaction, and frequent turnover is less likely.
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How Vroom Can Help Providers and Parents Have Fun While Brain Building

By Guest Blogger on December 6, 2017

Amy Ornelas, a child care provider and grandparent and one of our Vroom Week winners, was thrilled to celebrate with us. She has been an avid user of the Vroom App, and wanted to share her experience for parents, grandparents and providers and how it has helped her.

Vroom Week, which was held October 16-20, celebrated the partnership between Child Care Aware® of America and Vroom by sharing interesting resources and tips, encouraging families and child care providers to participate by sharing their own tips on how to engage with children ages 0-5.

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Partnering to Send Care Packages to Puerto Ricans

By Maggie Norton on December 4, 2017

On November 15, employees from Child Care Aware® of America, Good360, and Charles River Associates worked together to assemble disaster relief kits for Niño’s de Nueva Esperanza child care center in Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico. Volunteers assembled 150 kits that will be sent alongside thousands of other donations garnered by Good360 to families struggling to recover after Hurricane Maria. These kits included goods such as bug spray, coloring books, markers, crayons, socks, and facial wipes that were donated from Nike, Mattel, CVS Pharmacy and others. In addition to assembling kits, volunteers wrote letters to families receiving these kits wishing them a happy holiday season, and reminding them that we are thinking of them during their recovery efforts.

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Infographic: Handwashing is Key to Flu Prevention

By Guest Blogger on December 1, 2017

Health services across the world are preparing for the worst flu season in history amid fears that the vaccines used to stop the influenza virus will not be as effective this year. Fortunately, there is a simple way to prevent the spread of disease and infection to keep you and the people around you safe from catching a virus by washing your hands properly.

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Video: How Finding the Perfect Child Care Provider Is Possible

By Guest Blogger on November 30, 2017

On October 18, I had the privilege and honor of sharing my personal experience in searching for the “perfect” child care setting for my two beautiful, smart, amazing, super energized daughters. Alongside four other incredible and inspiring Kansas City mothers, we had the opportunity to participate in a family voices panel to express our successes and challenges in finding our current child care provider. This was the first time I had an opportunity to share my story with a large group of leaders and advocates for early childhood education.

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The Top 5 Things CCR&Rs Should Do Before a Disaster

By Adina Young on November 29, 2017

As the end of the year nears, CCAoA’s Emergency Preparedness Team has been reflecting on the disasters that struck in 2017. Top-of-mind, of course, are the hurricanes—Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Our team worked directly with CCR&Rs affected by the storms and the providers they serve. This is the first of three blogs on lessons learned and our team’s advice for CCR&Rs about the critical things they need to do before, during, and after a disaster.

For your CCR&R to be prepared for an emergency, you need to take the following steps long before a disaster:

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Voices for Healthy Kids Calls for Early Care and Education Campaign Proposals

By Jessica Rose-Malm on November 21, 2017

Every child deserves the chance to eat healthy food and play every day. Because 60 percent of children under age six spend much of their time in care outside of their homes, early care and education settings are important places for children to build healthy habits.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Reducing the Risk of SIDS in Child Care Settings

By Laurie Rackas on November 20, 2017

The Problem:

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) refers to the death of an infant between one and 12 months old which cannot be explained. It is the most common cause of death for infants and usually occurs when a baby is sleeping. Roughly 12 percent of SIDS deaths occur while infants are in the care of someone other than the parent, including in early care and education programs.

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How a Local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency Can Strengthen Your Family

By Guest Blogger on November 20, 2017

Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies are a critical link between families of young children, communities, and local services and supports. Alma’s story illuminates how her local CCR&R’s lending library and caregiver education program strengthens families and encourages early learning and development.  

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Health Resource Spotlight: Your Program’s Mealtime Practices—a Quick Self-Assessment

By Laurie Rackas on November 17, 2017

The Problem:

Other healthy meal self-assessment tools exist, but they focus on detailed best practices related to nutrition and healthy eating environments. They can be complicated and time-consuming.

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VIDEO: The Importance of a Locating a Nurturing Child Care Facility

By Guest Blogger on November 16, 2017

Amber and Travis, married with two kids, work corporate jobs with long hours and worry about the type of influence that child care providers can have on their children. With the help of quality child care, they have the satisfaction of knowing their children are in a nurturing and compassionate environment.

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Location, Location, Location! The Safe Siting of Child Care Facilities

By Guest Blogger on November 15, 2017

Location is everything nowadays. Where we live and work can determine the types of professional opportunities we have, as well as how we spend our free time. Many people may not realize that the locations where we spend a lot of time can directly affect our health. This is especially true for young children, whose bodies and brains are rapidly growing and developing.

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House Tax Reform Package Approved in Committee

By Jay Nichols on November 9, 2017

Earlier today, the House Ways and Means Committee approved H.R. 1, the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017" on a party-line vote. While proposals to expand and enhance the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) were not included in the amended version, the proposal to eliminate Dependent Care Flexible Savings Accounts was overturned. The House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 1 sometime next week.

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Helping Young Children Recover from Traumatic Events - What the Science Tells Us

By Laurie Rackas on November 8, 2017

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) defines Adverse Childhood Experiences, or ACEs, as “stressful or traumatic events, including abuse and neglect.” New national data reveals that more than 46 percent of U.S. children—34 million under age 18—have experienced at least one traumatic event. More than 20 percent have experienced two or more.

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Books and Resources to Help Children Before and After Emergency Drills

By Guest Blogger on November 7, 2017

In September 2016, Child Care Resource Center, the resource and referral agency serving the Tulsa Metropolitan Area, began implementing the Child Care Aware® of America’s Resiliency Hub pilot project. The goal of this project is to “increase the capacity of child care resource and referral agencies to serve as resilience hubs in their communities in the event of emergencies or natural disasters.”

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House Unveils Tax Reform Package

By Jay Nichols on November 3, 2017

Yesterday, House Republican leadership introduced the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017."  This anticipated legislation is designed to reform the tax code for the first time since the 1980s, including changes to deductions and tax credits.

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A Message from Our Executive Director Regarding the Child Care Tax Credit

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on November 2, 2017

Child Care Aware® of America supports initiatives by Congress that would strengthen access to affordable child care for all. Unfortunately, the House-passed “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (H.R. 1) fails to address the child care needs of working families by not providing sufficient tax relief and prioritizing expansion of critical tax credits, including the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC).

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Relationships Matter - A Parent’s Perspective

By April Dodge-Ostendorf on November 1, 2017

Ever wonder what parents value in their relationships with child care providers?

I wanted to know what it takes to meaningfully engage families so I turned to an expert! Meet Katey, a vivacious mom from Kansas. During a Q&A session, Katey provided a glimpse into what family engagement means to her family as she opened up about her relationship with her 2-year-old son’s family child care provider.

Like many families, Katey and her husband realized that they needed two incomes to support their family after only a short time home with her newborn son. While her husband worked long irregular hours, Katey soon picked up late night shifts serving tables to guarantee daily cash flow. She reflects that “it takes a village,” mostly her mom and a close friend, to cover gaps during the hours when child care isn’t traditionally available. Listen in as Katey’s story gives a voice to family engagement in child care.

Tell me about how you first met your child care provider?

In July of last year, so 2016, I was referred to her by my husband's step mother.  I guess she had watched her children when they were younger.

Reflecting back, what questions would you have liked your provider to ask you about your family?

Maybe a little about whether we lived in a bit of a stressful environment.  When she noticed that he was starting to be more of a whiny child, she didn’t really show any concern about what was going on at home.  I thought that was a little weird. She did ask a little about an eating schedule, but didn’t ask if he had a blankie that he slept with.  He is just like that Peanuts character. Loves his blankie. 

Any question you wish you would have asked your provider?

I wish I had asked about activities. Like, I didn’t ask if they do them at a certain time. I guess I still don’t know what time lunch time is -- I should have asked about their schedule.

Early on what did the provider do to make you feel comfortable with her?

I think kids are very intuitive. It made me feel very comfortable seeing how comfortable he was.  He would go right to her in the morning. Even on the second or third day he would go right to her. It kinda broke my heart a little bit thinking, ‘Oh but you're my baby.’ I felt a lot better because he was happy to be there.

What opportunities have you had to get to know your son’s child care provider?

I had a grandparent pass away like two months into my son going there.  She and I got into a very adult conversation about our grandparents and how much they taught us. I thought it was a lovely talk because I got to know a little bit about her. Why she works the way she does and how she likes to be outside.

How does she make you you feel included in your son’s day, even when you aren’t there?

After he has developed a new sentence or ability to solve a problem, she’ll let me know about it.  I think that is really cool. It’s like, they take a nap and wake up 20 times smarter. She’ll tell me a new sentence he said or that he started walking... I was really sad I couldn’t be a part of that.

She’s always kept me informed about things like how far he walked or how he sat up by himself. That was all very exciting and helped me not feel like I was missing as much.

Let’s talk about the boundaries!  What are some boundaries that your provider should know about? 

So, our boundaries in our house are that you keep to yourself. You can help others, you can tell others the truth, but don't reveal too much information. It’s not like everybody needs to know your business. Well, my child care provider has been telling my friend about my child. Like, [him] being too whiny during the day. That really upset me. She even told my friend about the other child in the home. I guess the other child is acting whiney at home as well now. She’s telling my friend that the other parent is blaming my child. It’s not even my friend’s business.

It sounds like privacy is a valued boundary in your family. Now let’s talk about things she does to make you feel respected?

[My son] is lactose intolerant. This may sound silly, but even down to giving him non-dairy snacks. My own mother-in-law will give him Cheez-Its.

She never interrupts me! When I am telling her how my son is feeling that morning she fully acknowledges me and takes it into consideration. I really appreciate that because I feel like she actually listens to me.

Everything we’ve talked about today describes “family engagement” in child care. How do you define that term?

Really getting to know the parents. Seeing what kind of parent they are so they know how to talk to the parents.

What are some examples of family engagement that really stand out?

For holidays, I definitely feel like she engages us, she gets everybody a sweet little easter basket so that everybody is included. She’ll write a little note about why she likes your child.  I remember the last holiday, she said she liked my son because of how smart he is and how he notices these little things. 

Just her being involved with my child makes me want to be involved in that relationship with them.  Being able to see how they have this special kind of love for each other. She is teaching him things that I can’t teach him.

The experiences reflected in Katey’s comments, like so many other families, illustrate the critical role child care plays in the ‘village’ families build around their children as they learn and grow during the early years. Katey, thank you for teaching us how to be better at coming alongside Moms like you to help you be the best first teacher for your child.

Looking for child care? Explore our checklists for families.

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Not Just a Number: Finding the Right Fit for Her Child

By Guest Blogger on October 27, 2017

Cristina, a married mother of two, worries about her children becoming just another number in day care facilities. With the help of quality child care, her children are able to have access to a child care facility that emphasizes an emotionally supportive atmosphere, which has given Cristina the reassurance she needs.

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Mapping the Child Care Gaps Across the Country

By Dionne Dobbins, Ph.D. on October 26, 2017

Child Care Aware® of America is excited to announce the expansion of our child care deserts work with the release of the first two in a series of customized state-based interactive story maps, called Mapping the GapTM, that explores the gaps between child care supply and demand. CCAoA coined the term “child care desert” last fall when we released our initial report exploring states and communities exploring issues of child care supply and demand. We refer to areas or communities with limited or no access to quality child care as child care deserts.

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Child Care Aware® of America’s Story Maps Show States’ Child Care Gaps

By Rae Pickett on October 26, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Child Care Aware® of America today released the first in its series of data-rich story maps of state child care gaps. The first interactive maps showed that one in four children in Alaska’s working families and two in five children in Massachusetts’s working families lack access to licensed child care.

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Senate Approves Budget Resolution

By Jay Nichols on October 20, 2017

The Senate just passed its FY 2018 budget resolution on a 51-49 vote. Before final passage, the Senate adopted an amendment from Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY), Chairman of the Budget Committee, that removes the House-passed Budget resolution's instructions of $203 billion in mandatory spending cuts and replaces it with a deficit-neutral tax cut that could add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over 10 years. This funding set-aside is protected from a filibuster.

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The Need for Disaster Response Plans for Children with Disabilities

By Laurie Rackas on October 19, 2017

It seems that every time our nation experiences a major disaster, we learn more about the gaps in our emergency response system. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were no exception, and one gap the storms revealed is in how we assist people with disabilities, including young children, in the event of an emergency.

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Child Care Aware® of America Shares Brain-Building Tips During Vroom Week

By Rae Pickett on October 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC — Child Care Aware® of America is proud to sponsor Vroom Week from Oct. 16 to 20 to encourage families and caregivers to use simple prompts during daily moments to help build children’s brains.

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Balancing Quality, Affordable Child Care with Provider Compensation

By Guest Blogger on October 18, 2017

By the time I had my third child, I knew exactly what it would take to call a child care perfect, and through the most fortunate of circumstances I found it.

From nine months on my daughter was able to attend a small in-home child care setting where she was fed home cooked meals, a steady diet of produce varied enough that she would eat most things I served her at home, protein-rich Greek (not sugar-laden) yogurt, and a big bowl of chocolate pudding while she donned a birthday hat on the day she turned one. All this took place under the adoring watch of a woman she called Miss Emma, a former student of mine turned mom and caretaker extraordinaire.

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Why I Closed My In-Home Child Care

By Guest Blogger on October 18, 2017

“If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.” – Paul Coehlo, author of  The Alchemist

 

 

 

In the past four years since my son was born, I've said two difficult goodbyes to two careers that I loved. The struggle to make those decisions is not necessarily something I'd want to relive, but I do not regret the experiences I've had as a child care provider—the mother I've been shaped into through this journey, or the almost imperceptible yet beautiful "hellos" I've been rewarded with since closing my in-home child care.

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Health Resource Spotlight: A Water-Loving Otter Named Potter

By Laurie Rackas on October 17, 2017

The Problem:

The average 4- to 5-year-old child consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugar each day, or 65 pounds per year! The majority of that sugar comes from fruit drinks, high-fat desserts, soft drinks, and candy.

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Helping Children and Families Experiencing Homelessness

By Guest Blogger on October 16, 2017

Over 9,000 children under six experience homelessness in Kansas and over one million nationwide. These children face an increased risk of experiencing developmental delays, physical health and social-emotional problems. Early childhood, specifically infancy, is the stage of life correlated with the highest risk of residing in a homeless shelter. High quality early childhood education, including trusting relationships with early childhood professional can buffer children and families from the challenges associated with homelessness by supporting children’s learning and development in secure, stable, and nurturing environments. Overwhelmed parents and caregivers can more easily focus on meeting their goals toward stable housing, employment/training, and other services if they know their child is safe and receiving quality care. This blog post provides guidance on identifying families of young children in your community who may be experiencing homelessness and points to valuable local and federal resources.

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Provider Health Spotlight on Patricia Crosby

By Laurie Rackas on October 16, 2017

Spotlight:

Patricia Crosby, Owner, Patricia’s Day Care, Baltimore, MD

 

 

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Child Care Aware® of America Welcomes Four New Board Members

By Rae Pickett on October 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC Today, Child Care Aware® of America added four additions to our board of directors, of whom have expertise in military child care, nonprofit finance, bilingual education and child health, rounding out the organization’s newly expanded 17-member board.

Topics: News
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Children’s Environmental Health Day

By Guest Blogger on October 12, 2017

Now more than ever, the need to protect the health of the most vulnerable among us is paramount. Children are our most valuable resource—they represent the very future of our nation. Yet over the past few decades children have faced increasing rates of chronic illness and developmental issues linked to environmental exposures and our changing climate:

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Family Engagement: What IS IT and What Does It LOOK LIKE?

By Kim Engelman on October 5, 2017

Every week in the United States, nearly 11 million children younger than age five are in some type of child care arrangement, many of whom spend 30 hours or more per week in out of home care.  Over 100,000 of Kansas children are served through Kansas early care programs. Early care and education settings are a critical extension of the family home with continuity between the two being of prime importance.

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September 2017 Footnotes

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on October 2, 2017

In September we celebrated National Preparedness Month, and with it the beginning of hurricane season. Our emergency preparedness team has been hard at work, connecting with parents and child care providers and proving support, tools, and resources to those impacted by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. Child Care Aware® of America is also finalizing plans around our thought-leadership event of the year, 2017 Leadership Institute. We look forward to seeing you October 11-13 in Kansas City, Missouri! We are also pleased to announce that registration in now open for 2018 Symposium, our flagship event that addresses the hottest topics in research, policy, and practice in the early child care and education community. Join us for this and our exciting 30th anniversary gala!

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Congress To Miss Deadline on Extending Funding for Children's Health Insurance and Home Visiting Programs

By Meghan Cornwell on September 29, 2017

With the authorization of funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative expiring tomorrow, September 30, Congress will miss the deadline for extending these critical programs. Unfortunately, this lapse in funding could put many programs at-risk of closing and deny children access to health insurance.

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Riding Out the Storm

By Guest Blogger on September 25, 2017

We got hit by a tornado on a Sunday afternoon in late May. It was a holiday weekend, so most of our neighbors were out of town. I was out shopping in Forest Lake with my 4 year old, and my husband was at home.  We were experiencing a terrible storm in Forest Lake—it was green outside and hailed for a very long time, longer than I'd ever seen before. I called my husband to ask about the weather, and he said it was not even raining in Hugo, but looking north toward Forest Lake he saw what looked like a bad storm. Nobody could leave the store, Menards, because the wind and hail were so strong. I decided to take my son and climb under some shelving. It was that bad.

Minutes later my husband called to tell me that the house had just been hit by a tornado and that he was going to look for survivors.

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Where in the World? Visualizing Data through Mapping

By Maggie Norton on September 18, 2017

 

 

Where are child care programs located? How many children attend child care programs? Where can I find child care after 8 p.m.?

Answering these questions is important as parents attempt to navigate the when, where, how and who of securing quality, affordable child care. Additionally, these questions become important after a disaster, particularly as communities attempt to pick up the pieces and rebuild.

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Provider Health Spotlight on Margo Sipes

By Laurie Rackas on September 18, 2017

Spotlight:

Margo Sipes, Executive Director, Downtown Baltimore Child Care, Inc.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Understanding Preschool Expulsion

By Laurie Rackas on September 15, 2017

The Problem:

In the past few months, much has been written about the too-common issue of preschool expulsion. Where can early childhood educators turn if they want to better understand the issue, its root causes, and how they can become part of the solution?

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New Bill Would Make Affordable Child Care a Reality for All Families

By Meghan Cornwell on September 14, 2017

Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) introduced the "Child Care for Working Families Act of 2017."  This legislation would greatly assist millions of families in gaining access to quality and affordable care.

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August 2017 Footnotes

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on September 13, 2017

In August, we celebrated National Back to School Month with parents and providers through our Back to School Blog Series and daily back to school tips. With the end of August comes the beginning of hurricane season, and with it Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Our emergency preparedness team has been hard at work, connecting with parents and child care providers and providing support, tools, and resources to those impacted by these storms. See the breaking news section below for information on our hurricane emergency response efforts. September is also National Preparedness Month, and we will be sharing more general emergency preparedness resources with parents and providers throughout the month.

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Celebrating Grandparents and the Important Role They Play in Children’s Lives

By Dionne Dobbins, Ph.D. on September 13, 2017

This past weekend was Grandparents Day. As I visited my parents with kids in tow, I realized how pivotal my parents have been in helping me raise my kids. My older two kids are tweens now, but when they were in child care my mom picked them up so my husband and I didn’t have to rush home from work before the “witching hour” (that’s 6 p.m. when the child care centers closed and charged you per minute you were late). And my youngest child, age 3, was cared for by my parents (both retired educators now) until he was 2 years old. No wonder my kids think my parent’s home is their home!

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Are Family Child Care Businesses Adequately Prepared for the Impact of a Disaster?

By Holly Nett on September 11, 2017

On Memorial Day weekend of 2008, an EF3 tornado struck Hugo, Minnesota, a commuter town north of downtown St. Paul. Winds ranged from 136-165 mph, and the tornado’s path was six miles long and one-eighth mile wide. Since it was a holiday weekend, Christine, a family child care provider, was not caring for children at the time that the tornado touched down, but her child care business took a direct hit.

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Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Bill to Protect Child Care Funding

By Jay Nichols on September 8, 2017

Yesterday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Bill. Unlike the House version, the Senate bill does not propose any spending cuts to programs that support child care including the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS) programs.

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Vroom Resources Promote Healthy Brain Development

By Guest Blogger on September 7, 2017

Vroom materials have been a wonderful resource to integrate into our existing programs. When parents call requesting a child care search, we engage in conversation about child development and reaffirm to each parent the special role they play as being their child’s first and most important teacher.

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The Next Chapter: Knocking on the Door to Kindergarten

By Guest Blogger on September 6, 2017

It hardly seems possible that we are in the midst of transitioning from preschool to kindergarten with our oldest child. How did that curious little infant we had five years ago move so quickly through toddlerhood and preschool?

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National Preparedness Month – Take the Pledge!

By Adina Young on September 5, 2017

Ensuring you, your loved ones, and your little ones are prepared for any and all emergencies is of paramount importance. September is National Preparedness Month and CCAoA is encouraging parents, child care providers and child care resource and referral staff to take the Preparedness Pledge.

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Family Voices Successful at Driving Federal Policy

By Kim Engelman on September 1, 2017

In the Spring of 2017, families from across the nation joined early care and education system professionals in Washington, D.C. These families traveled from all four corners of the United States including Washington, California, Florida, Maine and 18 other states in between. It was incredible to witness the diversity this group encompassed and their passion to unite on behalf of children and families across the country.

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Child Care Disaster Response and Recovery Webinar Series

By Holly Nett on August 30, 2017

The horrific damage caused by Hurricane Harvey on the Texas gulf coast reminds us of the profound impact that disasters have on children and adults, resulting in feelings of uncertainty for everyone. Young children do best when their lives have predictable caregivers, schedules, and settings. A disaster can throw all of those things off balance, causing emotional stress and developmental challenges for children.

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From One Family to Another: Tips to Make the Transition Easier

By Guest Blogger on August 29, 2017

As a mom who has experience in transitioning children from child care to school, I’d like to share some tips with parents that are experiencing this for the first time this fall.

My 9-year-old son has already made the transition from home child care to preschool, then to an elementary school to after school care. I also have a daughter who will be soon making the transition from child care to a preschool center this fall.

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Policies that Support Breastfeeding in Child Care Facilities

By Krista Scott on August 23, 2017

Helping children get off to a good, healthy start in life is one of the hallmarks of quality child care. It makes sense that quality child care programs would have policies in place that support good infant feeding practices, including breastfeeding.

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The Present and Future of Child Care Assistance Programs in the United States

By Guest Blogger on August 21, 2017

 

The extreme cost of child care in the United States is a highly debated and recognized economic concern. According to Child Care Aware® of America, child care is unaffordable in 49 states plus the District of Columbia. Though it seems like there aren’t currently many assistance programs in place, legislators have taken notice of the issue and have not only put several in place but are also working on developing new ones every day.

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Child Care Aware® of America Welcomes Yvette Sanchez Fuentes as Deputy Chief of Public Policy

By Rae Pickett on August 20, 2017

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. Yvette Sanchez Fuentes has joined Child Care Aware of America’s (CCAoA) policy team as the deputy chief of public policy. She brings with her extensive experience in providing services to young children from low-income families as well fighting for policies that strengthen communities through access to affordable child care. Sanchez Fuentes will provide leadership and outreach to the government, CCAoA membership and the general public on issues relating to the early child care and education system. She will also refine and lead CCAoA’s policy and advocacy strategy.

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Explaining and Safely Viewing the 2017 Solar Eclipse with our Smallest Learners

By Maggie Norton on August 19, 2017

A solar eclipse will take place on Monday, August 21 for the first time in the lower 48 U.S. states since 1979. During a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and the Earth and blocks all or part of the sun for up to three hours, from beginning to end. On Monday, the longest period when the moon will completely block the sun—a total eclipse—will be about 2 minutes and 40 seconds and will only happen along the “path of totality” (below).  

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Provider Health Spotlight on Celeste Joyner

By Laurie Rackas on August 16, 2017

Spotlight:

Celeste Joyner, Children’s College, Baltimore, MD

The Problem:

Two vegetarians, one pescatarian (who eats fish but no other meat), five omnivores. How does one provider feed such a diverse group of eaters?

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What to Look for in a Quality Afterschool Program

By Guest Blogger on August 15, 2017

Backpack, paper, pencils, and homework folder: for many families, that’s the standard shopping list for back-to-school season. However, one key item is missing: your child’s afterschool program! Choosing the perfect program for your child can make the transition from early child care to aftercare seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! We want to provide you with some tips that will make choosing a program easy and exciting.

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Health Resource Spotlight: Head Start’s Mental Health Tool

By Laurie Rackas on August 14, 2017

The Problem:

Sometimes an adult (parent/caregiver/early childhood educator) has a temperament that is vastly different from that of a young child. How do you bridge the gap and foster a loving, supportive relationship?

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Payment Rates and Nutrition Labels: CACFP Implementation Resources

By Krista Scott on August 11, 2017

Establishing healthy habits in early childhood is critical to the early care and education setting.  The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is an important part of shaping the meals and snacks that child care providers serve for children and staff of all ages.  New documents and training resources have recently been released by the USDA to help participants with the transition to implementing new meal patterns by October 1, 2017.  In addition to these resources, the USDA released updated payment rates and a new labeling verification tool to help providers plan for meals and credit food more accurately, to make it easier for children to receive proper nutrition at every meal and snack time.

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Include Emergency Planning on Your Back-to-School Checklist

By Holly Nett on August 7, 2017

As you cross off important items on your family’s back-to-school checklist, don’t forget to be proactive in learning more about the emergency plan at your child’s school or child care program. All schools and before/afterschool child care programs should have an emergency plan in place to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergency situations, such as fires, natural disasters (tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, etc.), bomb threats, and dangerous intruders. Ask your child’s teacher or school administrator for details about their plan, and seek clarifications if you do not fully understand components of the plan.

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July 2017 Footnotes

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on August 2, 2017

updating caring for our childrenIt’s hard to believe that July is coming to a close, and with it the imminent start to a new school year! August is National Back to School Month and we are celebrating with parents and providers through our Back to School Blog Series and daily back to school tips. July was another busy month, which included the release of our 2017 State Fact Sheets. We also continue planning around the 2017 Leadership Institute in October and our culmination 30th anniversary celebration at 2018 Symposium in April.

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Health is Key to School Success

By Krista Scott on August 1, 2017

Many parents use August to prepare for the school year and cross many tasks off their list—school supplies, nailing down schedules, new clothes, and converting the family mindset from summer vacation to the school routine.

But, there is one more task. And you should add it to the top of your list, because it affects school readiness:

Health care for your children!

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Sick, Absent, or Forgotten? How a Change in Routine Can Become Deadly in Minutes

By Guest Blogger on July 31, 2017

Have you ever had a child in your child care program not arrive by her usual arrival time and simply rationalized that the child must be sick or on vacation today? My mission is to show you how this assumption can have lethal consequences for dozens of young children annually.

How? Each year since 1998, an average of 37 children have perished due to what is known as vehicular heatstroke, also referred to as vehicular hyperthermia or child hot car deaths. At the time of this blog, 23 cases have been documented in 2017, and more than 723 since 1998.

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Bi-Partisan Child Care Program That Supports Parents in College Introduced

By Chrisi West on July 28, 2017

 Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Representatives Katharine Clark (D-MA) and Don Young (R-AK) just introduced the "Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) Improvement Act of 2017."

CCAMPIS is the only federal program that supports child care services for low-income parents in college, and services are provided year-round. According to numerous studies, the number of parents attending college has grown significantly over the last 15 years and many colleges eliminated child care services, leaving parents with the burden of trying to find safe, quality care while balancing their course schedule.

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House Appropriations Committee Proposes Funding Increase for CCDBG

By Jay Nichols on July 20, 2017

Yesterday, the House Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill, and it included a proposed $4 million increase for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), roughly $2.86 billion for FY 2018. In addition, Head Start would receive $9.275 billion, a increase of $22 million from this year. Of the total amount, $640 million would be reserved for the Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership Program. The Preschool Development Grant Program would maintain its authorized level of funding in FY 2018 ($250 million). As a reminder, the Trump Administration proposed to cut funding for all of these programs.

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Senate Unveils Draft Health Care Repeal Legislation Update

By Jay Nichols on July 13, 2017

Earlier today, the Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), released a third version of the "Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA)," that would change or eliminate major provisions of the federal health care law.

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Child Care Aware® of America Releases 2017 State Fact Sheets

By Dionne Dobbins, Ph.D. on July 13, 2017

Help for families struggling to pay for quality child care, such as the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), is, pivotal to supporting quality child care in the nation. Strategically, states are already investing CCDBG funds in raising the quality of child care programs, as well as in efforts to improve affordability of and access to child care that support workforce participation throughout the economy. We need data from states to understand the child care landscape and help guide state and community-level decision-makers, policymakers, child care advocates, and program administrators in their push for accessible, affordable, quality child care.

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Sharing Vroom with the Child Care Community

By Guest Blogger on July 11, 2017

Vroom has been an exciting addition to the work we do at the Capital District Child Care Council.  Children develop cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically through play. By bringing VROOM to the Capital District area of Albany, New York, we were able to share the brain building benefits of play with the community we serve. It has allowed us to boost family engagement and provide information on the importance of relationship building, all while supporting the early years of a child’s development.

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Editing Exchange: An Editor's First Year Account of Understanding Child Care

By Guest Blogger on July 10, 2017

One year ago, I stepped into my new role as Editor-in-Chief of Exchange, a magazine for early childhood leaders. I was to fill the biggest shoes imaginable—those of a founding editor who had helmed the magazine since its inception 38 years ago. Although I’m a mother of two young boys, I was new(ish) to the field of early childhood. I’d previously edited a university alumni magazine, but taking over a bi-monthly 96-page professional publication offered me a learning curve as steep as Space Mountain.

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June 2017 Footnotes

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on July 10, 2017

With June we welcomed the start of summer—longer days, the end of the school year, and summer vacations. We are pleased to share several exiting new work, most notably our recently released child care state licensing database. Additionally, read more below about our advocacy work on the horizon in states, important programmatic initiatives gaining traction, and upcoming webinars for our members. Look for the release of our 2017 State Fact Sheets on July 13, and stay tuned for more details on upcoming work around states-based child care deserts research.

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The Exorbitant Cost of Child Care: A Millennial Parent Perspective

By Guest Blogger on July 6, 2017

I am a 26-year-old single mother of a beautiful little girl. I love being a parent. But the cost of child care for a child under the age of two is so expensive in the Washington, DC metro area. More than half of my paycheck goes to child care. As millennial, that is not much money starting out for a single parent. I thought making just over $48K a year would be the best thing in the world until I realized that I won't be able to qualify for state assistance anymore. That, paired with the cost of healthcare, has taken a toll on me as a mother. I am trying my best but I feel as though I'll never get out of this expense hole that I seem to have fallen into.

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Check Out Your Library Before and After Disasters!

By Guest Blogger on June 29, 2017

Every community is vulnerable to disasters: extreme weather, fires, chemical spills, the list goes on. Luckily, most have a local resource to help them prepare and respond to those disasters: their public library!

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VIDEO: Finding Affordable, Quality Care for a Child with Special Needs

By Guest Blogger on June 28, 2017

Bianca, a single mother of a four-year-old son with special needs, faced the difficult choice of staying home to take care of her son or working herself into the ground to make ends meet. With the help of affordable, quality child care she was able to continue to work without worrying about the safety or well-being of her son.

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Senators Introduce Bi-Partisan Legislation Supporting Military Family Child Care

By Jay Nichols on June 28, 2017

Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) recently introduced legislation that would help provide more child care support and flexibility to military families. The "Availability of Child Care for Every Servicemember and Spouse (ACCESS) Act of 2017" would apply to child care facilities on military bases and installations, as well as community providers. Today, nearly two-thirds of military families lack access to quality child care.

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The Accountant and Child Care Advocacy

By Guest Blogger on June 23, 2017

You may be wondering how you landed on an article written by a CPA that is not related to a technical issue? Allow me to explain. Recently, my wife and I received an opportunity to attend the Child Care Aware® of America's 2017 Family Advocacy Summit. I have been on a journey on the road to advocacy in the midst of tax season.

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Child Care Aware® of America Announces Child Care Licensing Database Launch

By Dionne Dobbins, Ph.D. on June 22, 2017

In 2014, with the reauthorization of the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), all states were required to have stronger licensing standards. States were then searching for tools to both document their current licensing regulations and develop benchmarks toward meeting best practices for health and safety. To meet that need, we developed CCAoA’s Child Care Licensing Database.

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Prevent to Protect: A Mother’s Experience with the Unheard of Viral Cause of a Birth Defect

By Guest Blogger on June 21, 2017

Most women have never heard of Cytomegalovirus (CMV) (less than 9%) but they need to know about this virus if they are pregnant or intend to become pregnant. CMV is a common and sometimes serious virus for a pregnant woman and her unborn child.

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A Dad’s Perspective: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

By Guest Blogger on June 13, 2017

February 24, 2012 was the day my life changed. I became a father to a precious baby girl. As a newly minted parent, I wanted to provide the best possible life for her. My wife was fortunate to have banked enough vacation and sick time to stay home for the first 12 weeks after birth, and I was able to modify my schedule to maximize my time with our daughter during those early formative months. Like many Americans with infants, maternity leave ended, and my wife went back to work earlier than both of us would have liked.

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Child Care Deserts States-Based Reporting Now Available

By Adina Young on June 7, 2017

States face unique challenges in exploring child care supply and demand and directing precious resources to ensure accessibility to quality child care. With the passage of the Child Care and Development Block Grant Act of 2014, it is critical for states and communities to understand how to study child care supply and demand, analyze their findings, identify areas of child care deserts, and implement policy solutions that ensure parents have access to quality child care. At the local and state levels, child care leaders (especially CCR&Rs) have traditionally examined child care access, conducted needs assessments, and mapped supply and demand for target populations.

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Partnering with Vroom to Share Tools and Resources for Diverse Families

By Guest Blogger on June 6, 2017

Family dynamics are unique to say the least.

We know that families are made up of many different components and that the traditional family dynamic is becoming more blurred. Because of the uniqueness of our families, we have sought out partners that meet the needs of a variety of families.

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May 2017 Footnotes

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on June 5, 2017

Along with the month of May comes a multitude of work around our upcoming public policy research projects, several of which are on track for release this summer. Activities and excitement around our 30th anniversary continue, planning for our 2018 Symposium have begun, and we are pleased to share details around several new initiatives, including our Family Voices blog/vlog series!

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Preparing for Hurricanes

By Adina Young on June 2, 2017

It’s the time of the year where we must be ready for hurricanes. Preparing in advance has numerous advantages, not the least of which is preventing the last-minute scramble when a hurricane is bearing down and shelves and supplies are depleted.

Pacific hurricane season starts May 15, and Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November 30.

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The Danger of Spreading CMV: How We Can Protect Our Children

By Guest Blogger on June 1, 2017

Everyone agrees toddlers are cute—and they are! But if you are a childcare worker, a nursery volunteer, or have a toddler in child care, you need to know about cytomegalovirus (CMV).

What is CMV?

The month of June is National Cytomegalovirus Awareness Month. CMV, or cytomegalovirus (sī-to-MEG-a-lo-vī-rus), is a common virus, according to CongenitalCMV.org. Between 50-80% of adults in the U.S. are infected with CMV by age 40. CMV is also the leading birth defects virus passed from mother to unborn baby. Congenital (meaning present at birth) CMV can cause disabilities in unborn babies such as hearing loss, mental impairment, and cerebral palsy.

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Why Child Care Center Staff Need to Care About Flu Prevention

By Guest Blogger on May 26, 2017

Every winter, influenza (the flu) ravages both adults and children, spreading like wildfire throughout the community and leaving many at home, in bed, feeling awful for days. Child care centers are affected because the influenza virus is highly contagious, and children are apt to spread the virus unknowingly both to their peers and to adults. In fact, because children in group care are more likely to catch and spread viruses, like the flu, they can bring these viruses home and pass the flu on to their siblings, who go to school and transmit the virus more broadly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2004, the number of children who die yearly in the U.S. during a normal flu season has ranged from 37 (2011-2012 season) to 171 (2012-2013 season).

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A Message from Our Executive Director Regarding the President's Budget Request

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on May 23, 2017

Today, President Trump released his budget request for FY 18, which proposed very harmful cuts to programs that support low-income and working-class families and children, including a cut to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which serves about 1.5 million income eligible children per month. The proposed cuts will put access to quality, affordable, and safe child care at risk for countless numbers of children.

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President Sends Budget Request to Congress

By Jay Nichols on May 23, 2017

Today, President Trump released his detailed FY 2018 budget request, which is a follow up from his "skinny budget" published in March. While the President's request includes proposals that could benefit a number of families, it would be devastating for most low-income and working class parents and their children.

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The Role Child Care Plays for Single Parents

By Guest Blogger on May 16, 2017

Child care was a lifesaver for my family and me. I am a single mom and have taken my three children to child care since they were 2 years old. I would not have been able to support my family without child care. When my children turned of age in 2012 I also received custody of my niece and nephew. I took them to the same family child care home that my children went to. The kids loved it. They participated in so many learning activities, were well fed, and loved it like they were in their own home.

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A Mother’s Story: The Challenge and Gift of Affording Quality Child Care

By Guest Blogger on May 16, 2017

I work in the nonprofit sector. It is something I am incredibly passionate about, but I do not make a lot of money. I have twin boys that are just over a year-and-a-half old now. They are in child care and have been since they were infants. Fortunately, I was able to get an ABC voucher that greatly offsets the cost of their child care. (I currently pay $100 per week). If I didn't have an ABC voucher then I would be paying $1,600 per month or more for child care. There is no way I could afford that. There is no way that most people could afford that.

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How Vroom Speaks to Every CCR&R Audience

By Guest Blogger on May 9, 2017

 I have been a Vroom Ambassador since the inception of the program in 2016, and I still marvel at the way this program seems to speak to so many different audiences. There is just something about the design of the materials that makes them adaptable to every place, whether I am presenting to large and small groups or simply talking to people on a one-to-one basis.
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House Passes Legislation That Could Put Access to Health Care for Children and Families At Risk

By Meghan Cornwell on May 4, 2017

On May 4, the House of Representatives barely passed H.R. 1628, the "American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017," on a party-line vote. H.R. 1628 would replace the "Affordable Care Act of 2010," and if enacted into law, it could result in more than 20 million people losing access to health insurance, as well as millions of children losing access to Medicaid coverage, over the next decade.

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The Importance of Including Children in Emergency Preparedness Planning

By Guest Blogger on May 4, 2017

As a child care provider, you have chosen a profession of caring for children, and you try your best to protect them every day. There are many things you do to keep them safe, but it may be impossible to prepare for all possibilities. However, by including children’s needs and children themselves in preparedness planning, you can help yourself and the children in your care be as ready as possible for an unexpected public health emergency.

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Child Care Advocates Join Together to Celebrate Provider Appreciation Day 2017

By Rae Pickett on May 3, 2017

Quality Child Care - A Priceless Commodity that Deserves Recognition

Arlington, VA, May 12, 2017 – Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) is proud to partner with the National Association of Family Child Care, National Association for the Education of Young Children, National Head Start Association, National Indian Child Care Association, Teachstone, and Afterschool Alliance in recognizing child care providers / early educators for National Provider Appreciation Day.

Topics: Workforce News
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Child Care Aware® of America Wins Arlington’s Best Business Award

By Adina Young on May 3, 2017

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce awarded Child Care Aware® of America with Arlington’s Best Business Award for the nonprofit category at a special ceremony on May 2. The award celebrates area businesses that deliver exceptional quality of service to their customers, are industry leaders, or offer a unique approach to delivery of goods and services.

“Child Care Aware® of America is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is a proud member of the Arlington business community,” said Steve Smith, Chief Operating Officer at CCAoA. “We look forward to continued engagement with the Arlington business community and working together to build a successful workforce for tomorrow.”

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Child Care Programs Fare Very Well in Budget Agreement

By Jay Nichols on May 2, 2017

Earlier this week, Congress and the Administration agreed to a FY 2017 omnibus spending bill that will fund the federal government through September 30. The bill, which is expected to pass and be signed into law in the next couple of days, includes nearly $5 billion in new funding for early education and health programs. With regard to the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the program will receive a $95 million increase in FY 2017 ($2.856 billion), which is more than what was included in the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bills from last summer. While this increase is significant given the current legislative environment, it is still well short of what's needed to meet gaps in child care coverage, as well as support states with their implementation needs.

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Did You Miss the Child Care Aware® of America Policy Summit? Here’s a Recap

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on May 1, 2017

We were excited to have more than 300 attendees join us for this year’s Child Care Aware® of America Policy Summit on April 23-25 in Washington, D.C. Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies and early child care professionals from various disciplines and settings joined us from across the nation to address policy, practice, and the future of the early childhood field. Attendees engaged in insightful sessions, profited from key takeaways, networked, and (most importantly) made their voices heard during our special Day on the Hill event, where child care advocates and allies had an opportunity to meet with their Congressional representatives and put child care initiatives at the forefront of the political conversation.

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Trumps Tax Plan Fall Short of the Child Care Support Families Need

By Jay Nichols on April 26, 2017

This week, the Trump Administration released a broad tax proposal to Congress which includes expanding the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) with the possibility of making it refundable.

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How Child Care Providers Play a Role in Childhood Immunizations

By Adina Young on April 21, 2017

The health, safety and well-being of children is of primary concern for child care providers. As trusted professionals, child care providers often serve as a resource for new parents and families. One of the ways that child care providers can help ensure that children are healthy is to encourage that families follow the childhood immunization schedule. Receiving timely and age-appropriate vaccines protects infants, children, and teens from harmful diseases.

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Legislation Protecting Children in Disasters

By Adina Young on April 19, 2017

Child Care Aware® of America's Senior Director for Emergency Preparedness, Andrew Roszak, is keeping track of all things disaster-related. He recently authored an in-depth look at recent federal initiatives aimed at protecting children in disasters, which appears at Domestic Preparedness.com.

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Month of the Military Child: CCAoA Board Member Patricia Barron’s Story

By Guest Blogger on April 10, 2017

April has always been one of my favorite months. We emerge from the drabness of winter into blooming colors and sun filled days. Spring never fails to refresh and renew my spirit.

April is also the Month of the Military Child and, as a military mom who raised three military children in an Army family, it is also a bittersweet reminder of how quickly time passes.

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Interstate Collapse in Atlanta Offers Lessons for Parents & Providers

By Adina Young on March 31, 2017

On Thursday, March 30, 2017, around 6 p.m., a fire was reported under a section of I-85 in Atlanta. The fire ultimately caused a section of the interstate to collapse around 7 p.m., stranding motorists for hours and creating a more than five mile backup of traffic. The mayor has described this event as a ‘transportation crisis’, and this section of the I-85 will remain closed for the foreseeable future. On Thursday evening Governor Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency and vowed to allocate resources aimed to reduce traffic disruption. Luckily no one was injured in the collapse, a testament to the great work of the fire and police departments who responded to the incident and quickly evacuated the area.

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Month of the Military Child: Adina’s Story

By Adina Young on March 31, 2017

Being a child of a father serving in the U.S. Air Force looks glamorous (aside from being called an “Air Force Brat”)! I got to travel the world and see things most other children didn’t get to see. For instance, I lived in Italy for 3 years! My triplet sisters, Celeste, Courtney, and I were only 5 years old. and my older brother, Dennis, was 10.

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CCAoA Holds Child Care Briefing on Capitol Hill.

By Jay Nichols on March 27, 2017

Did you miss our child care policy briefing on March 23, 2017 for Congressional staffers on the issue of child care? Visit our Facebook page to see a recording of the live coverage.

Approximately 45 congressional staffers attend the event when CCAoA discussed the state of public investments in child care and early childhood development programs and what Congress can do both maintain and improve them. This briefing also discussed importance of federal child care programs like the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), as well as provided insight into how child care is critical to families, providers, and local businesses.

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Why I’m Not Having Children…At Least Not Anytime Soon

By Adina Young on March 24, 2017

The most recent data shows that millennials are having children later in life than the generation before them. According to a study by Goldman Sachs, the median age for millennials to get married has increased from 23 to 30!

As I get older, I am bombarded with the following question: “When are you going to have children, Mia?”  It happens in every single family conversation! I usually shrug off the question and say that I’m just not ready. The truth? I am a struggling millennial, and between paying off my student loans, paying off my car, paying for insurance, and paying for the occasional meal out, I just can’t afford children. At least not right now.

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Outbreak of E. coli Infections in Kids Linked to Recalled SoyNut Butter Products

By Maggie Norton on March 24, 2017

Family Child Care providers, Child Care Centers and parents should take note—the CDC is investigating a major outbreak of E.coli linked to SoyNut Butter.

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Millennials Face Unprecedented Challenges in Affording Child Care

By Meghan Cornwell on March 21, 2017

The clash between the American dream and the American reality has gotten dramatically worse for millennials seeking to have a career and family, a battle outlined in stark details in a new report by Child Care Aware® of America.

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National Poison Prevention Week: Not About Removing Everything that Could Be Toxic

By Guest Blogger on March 19, 2017

Poisoning is the #1 cause of injury death in the United States, and the number of children who die from poisoning has more than doubled since 1999. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers’ National Poison Data System’s 2015 Annual Report, just under half of exposure cases managed by poison centers involved children younger than six.

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President Trump Proposes Elimination of Programs That Support Child Care

By Jay Nichols on March 16, 2017

President Trump submitted his FY 2018 budget request to Congress. As expected, the President maintained his commitment to reducing all non-defense, discretionary programs by a total of $54 billion. However, his proposal includes cutting all federal support for two programs that are vital to low-income and working class communities; the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (CCLC) and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs.

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UPDATE: House withdraws ACA Repeal and Replace Legislation

By Jay Nichols on March 13, 2017

UPDATED post: Last Friday afternoon, the House of Representatives withdrew a scheduled vote on H.R. 1628, the "American Health Care Act (AHCA) of 2017," after it was very clear that House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) did not have the votes for passage.  This came after a late-night deal of adding a provision to H.R. 1628 that would have cut $15 billion in mandatory care, as required under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, which would have impacted maternal and mental health coverage.

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Dear Ivanka: If you want to fix child care, don’t start with women like me

By Michelle McCready on March 6, 2017

When I heard you utter the words “affordable, quality child care for all families” at the Republican convention last summer, I literally stood up and cheered in the middle of my living room. It’s one of the many, and arguably one of the most important, issues facing working families. These are the families that I care deeply about and have been fighting for over the last decade.

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Dr. Lynette Fraga Elected as Chair of Children’s Leadership Council Board of Directors

By Adina Young on March 6, 2017

Arlington, VA, March 6, 2017 – The Children’s Leadership Council (CLC) has announced the appointment of Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., as Chair of the organization’s Board of Directors. The CLC is a coalition of more than 50 of the nation’s major organizations dedicated to improving the lives and opportunities of American babies, children, and youth. Nationwide, CLC
members are working every day to improve the health, education, and well-being of children and youth in order to prepare them for school, work, and life.

The CLC is the only national children’s coalition solely dedicated to supporting, protecting, and advancing investments in our nation’s children from birth through young adulthood and across the issue spectrum, including: children's health; early care and education; child welfare; youth development; and economic support for children and families to ensure that children's basic needs of food, clothing and shelter, and economic stability are met.

Topics: News
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¿Por Qué Mi Hijo Se Comporta Así?

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 28, 2017

Todos los padres se preguntan a veces si el comportamiento de su hijo es normal. Los niños de todas las edades exhiben comportamientos bochornosos o frustrantes: gimoteo, berrinches, pláticas sobre temas "tabú," malas palabras, o una tendencia a ser mandón con los compañeritos. Estos comportamientos ponen a prueba su paciencia y pueden hacer que pierda la cabeza. Aunque quiere mucho a su hijo, sus acciones le pueden hacerse sentir incómodo y susceptible a las críticas de otros.

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Why Does My Child Act Like That?

By National Child Care Information and Referral Center Team on February 28, 2017

All parents wonder at times whether their child's behavior is normal. Children at every age exhibit embarrassing or frustrating behaviors: whining, tantrums, bathroom talk, swearing, or bossiness. These behaviors test your patience and can leave you at your wit's end. As much as you love your child, his actions can make you feel uncomfortable and vulnerable to other people's criticism.

Topics: Parenting
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7 Ways YOU Can Help Us Improve Child Care in 2017

By Michelle McCready on February 16, 2017

Advocacy is one of the most important and most underutilized tools we have to influence child care policy in the political system. And we need to work on that – fast!

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Congressman Tom Price Confirmed as Next Secretary of Health and Human Services

By Jay Nichols on February 10, 2017

Late last night, the Senate confirmed Georgia Congressman, Tom Price, as Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a 52-47 party-line vote. Secretary Price will now oversee critical programs that support children and families including the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and Head Start. In addition, he will also be a key person in implementing the expected changes and/or possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act, of which he has been a fierce critic over the last several years.

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Senate Confirms Betsy DeVos

By Jay Nichols on February 7, 2017

Earlier today, the Senate confirmed President Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, on a 51-50 vote with Vice-President Pence casting the deciding vote. This is the first time a sitting Vice-President has had to vote to confirm a cabinet nominee.

Last month, Betsy DeVos had a very contentious nomination hearing with the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee which resulted in all Democrats, as well as Independent Senators Bernie Sanders (VT) and Angus King (ME), opposing her on the Senate floor. Republican Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Susan Collins (ME) also joined the Democrats in opposing Mrs. DeVos.

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CCAoA Celebrates American Heart and Black History Months

By Laurie Rackas on February 6, 2017

Heart disease and strokes are the #1 killers of women in the United States Roughly every minute, another woman dies, according to the American Heart Association (AHA). Although heart disease affects women of all races and ethnicities, rates are especially high for African-American women.

Here’s a little story to inspire you:

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Senators Introduce Bi-Partisan Legislation to Reform Child Care Tax Credits

By Jay Nichols on January 30, 2017

Late last week, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Angus King (I-ME) introduced the Promoting Affordable Care for Everyone (PACE) Act of 2017. The goal of the PACE Act is to make these tax credits more generous for working and low-income families and reflect the rising cost of child care.

This legislation would update several Federal child care-related tax credits including the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).

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Take Action Against an Undetectable Gas: It’s National Radon Action Month

By Adina Young on January 3, 2017

This month we are acknowledging National Radon Action Month. We encourage you to test your home and workplace for radon. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas released in rock, soil, and water from the natural decay of uranium. You can’t see, smell, or taste radon, but it could be present at a dangerous level in your home, workplace or child care facility. If high radon levels are detected, you can take steps to fix it and protect yourself and your family.

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The 114th Congress Ends and President Obama Signs His Final Bills Into Law

By Jay Nichols on December 13, 2016

During the late hours of December 9, the Senate avoided a government shutdown and approved H.R. 2028, a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the Federal government until April 28, 2017. CRs, which are used is the absence of a final budget bill, are funded at the same levels appropriated for the previous fiscal year (2016). In addition to maintaining child care and early childhood development programs at FY 2016 levels, the CR also includes $4.1 billion for Hurricane Matthew recovery efforts.

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Report Shows Child Care Too Expensive for Today’s Families

By Rae Pickett on December 6, 2016

Arlington, VA, December 7, 2016  – Child Care Aware® of America’s (CCAoA) 10th annual report researching child care costs in counties and states across the U.S. shows families can’t afford child care in 49 of 50 states.

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Obama Administration Releases Final ESSA Regulations

By Jay Nichols on November 28, 2016

Earlier today, the Department of Education published the final regulations to implement the "Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015."  The final ESSA regulations are designed to support states in maximizing their opportunities under the new law.

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Congress Punts on Finishing Federal Budget Until March

By Chrisi West on November 21, 2016

Yesterday, House Republican leadership announced that they will draft another continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government until March 31, 2017. This is being done in consultation with President-Elect Donald Trump's transition team. There is bipartisan opposition to this proposal in the Senate, however it appears unlikely that it would be filibustered. The current CR expires on December 9, 2016.

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Leaving for Logan: Looking for an Oasis in a Child Care Desert

By Chrisi West on November 21, 2016

The importance of high-quality, affordable child care affects everyone. In the spirit of the holiday giving season, Child Care Aware® of America is pleased to share with you a special edition story in Faces of Child Care, a series of stories from individuals of various walks of life who are affected by child care.

Read Ashley’s story below to learn more about how you can help Child Care Aware® of America work to ensure that every family in America has access to high-quality, affordable child care.

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Child Care Aware® of America Celebrates Military Family Appreciation Month

By Adina Young on November 4, 2016

Child care has become a major issue this election season, highlighted throughout the debates and presidential candidate platforms alike. The focus has mainly been on families and the challenges they face when seeking high-quality, affordable child care. For military families this can be especially difficult. According to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), active-duty military personnel move an average of once every two to three years. This results in children changing schools and child care providers frequently. In addition, the DoD reports that roughly 70 percent of military families do not live on base, making access to military-funded installation child care even more limited.

Topics: Parenting
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September 2016 Child Care Provider of the Month: Brenda’s Child Care

By Chrisi West on November 1, 2016

Arlington, VA – Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA), National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC), National Head Start Association (NHSA), and National Indian Child Care Association (NICCA) would like to congratulate Brenda Petith and the staff at Brenda’s Child Care, LLC in North Logan, Utah. They have been named Provider of the Month for September 2016.

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Federal Employees, Show Some Love to CCAoA with CFC #12300

By Meghan Cornwell on November 1, 2016