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!
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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.
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!
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.
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!