Child Care Aware® of America’s 2021 State Fact Sheets are now available. These fact sheets are updated annually in order to provide the most current, in-depth data and statistics about child care in U.S. states and territories. This year’s release covers 2020 and while not all states submitted their data by the deadline, that information will be updated once it is received and verified.
These fact sheets provide a wealth of information on child care supply and utilization, which you can use in advocacy with lawmakers at all levels. Consider sharing this state-level data along with your personal child care story — whether as a parent, provider or system leader — to make a compelling case to lawmakers about child care policy. As you think through how to integrate these new fact sheets into your advocacy, here are five suggestions for how they can be used to engage with policymakers:
Share Directly with Your Members of Congress
This is a great opportunity to use the data from the state fact sheets to show your Members of Congress that there is a need for robust investment in child care that will increase accessibility and build the supply of programs in your area!
- If you already have a relationship with your federal representatives in the House and Senate, this is a great opening for you, as an advocate, to share the newest data on child care with their offices. Send a quick email to your closest contact in the legislator’s office with information about what’s happening in your state.
- Even if you do not have a preexisting contact, you can still make sure your Members of Congress see the 2021 fact sheets by using CCAoA’s action alert that makes it quick and easy to send the link in just a few clicks.
Share Directly with Your Local and State Policymakers
Child care has received historic amounts of investment under various federal relief packages throughout the last year. Now, states and localities are determining how to best use these funds and will look for advocates to share their input. When weighing in on these discussions, it’s especially important to portray the challenges child care has experienced throughout the pandemic to show why these funds must support policies that will help child care for years to come. You can share these state fact sheets with your policymakers alongside stories from providers and families when you engage in these conversations on how to spend down these funds.
Use in Your Meetings with Elected Officials
Planning a meeting with an elected official or a member of their staff? Whether you’re meeting with federal, state or local officeholders, these fact sheets are a great resource to integrate when planning your meeting agenda. Depending on the topics you will cover, you can share your state’s fact sheet ahead of the meeting for reference during your discussion, or as a follow-up item after the meeting to reinforce policy asks and personal stories shared. Use CCAoA’s advocacy toolkit to schedule, plan and execute your meeting with elected officials. You can also access a PDF version of the fact sheets for this purpose.
Share on Social Media
Most elected officials are on Facebook and Twitter, which makes these social sites a great way to flag the new state fact sheets for their offices. You can share the page link to make sure your networks are aware of the new data; tagging specific elected officials in these posts is a good way to get their attention.
Share with Coalitions in Your Area and Your Child Care Provider
Are you a child care provider who works with other providers and organizations to advocate for child care policies in your state? Or a parent who does similar advocacy in partnership with state or local groups? These new fact sheets are a great resource for that work and can help reinforce the important personal stories you are sharing with data that show the broader picture of child care in your state. If you are a parent, your child care provider may be interested in this new data advocacy work. Share CCAoA’s updated state fact sheets and see if they contain information your provider would find helpful.