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April Dodge-Ostendorf

April Dodge-Ostendorf, MSW, is Manager of Family and Community Engagement Outreach at Child Care Aware® of America. She has 15 years of professional experience advancing social service systems for children and families at local, state and national levels. April’s current work includes stakeholder engagement, program implementation and evaluation for initiatives that align with national priorities.

Recent Posts

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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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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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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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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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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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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