Summer has arrived, and with it comes beautiful weather and longer days. This month we celebrated fathers, who play an important role in the early education and development of children. We also concluded Faces of Child Care, our eight-week series of stories from individuals who are transforming the child care system in inspiring ways. Learn more about our series and how you can make an investment in our nation’s future.
Below are some additional highlights from June.
Around the Country
The U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) hosted a full committee hearing on the implementation of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 on June 15. The hearing served as an evaluation of CCDBG, including how the overall implementation process is progressing, and featured Child Care Aware® of America parent advocate Le’Vaughn Westbrook, who shared her story with the committee about the death of her son Quale’ and how the CCDBG reauthorization can now prevent and protect other children and families.
On June 23, Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. presented on childcare costs and access at the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) Annual Conference. The presentation covered information from the Parents and the High Cost of Care: 2015 report and upcoming white paper on Access to Pre-K for Boys of Color.
Michelle McCready, Chief of Public Policy and Research, and Desiree Tims, Senior Advisor for Public Policy, presented at the NAEYC-PDI conference in Baltimore. They shared short-term and long-term advocacy strategies to a group of 40 advocates. Desiree also attended the AFL-CIO event on “Early Learning and Childcare: The Work and Workers” where thought leaders discussed compensation and labor issues that impact the child care industry.
Our Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness, Andrew Roszak, was on the road this month discussing pediatric preparedness issues. Andy gave a keynote address highlighting pediatric issues in a disaster response at the State of Michigan’s Annual Region 2 North Healthcare Coalition Conference. Andy also moderated a panel discussion on the Flint, Michigan water crisis at the National Environmental Health Association’s Annual Educational Conference. Julie Looper, Senior Advisor for Emergency Preparedness, also presented on child care issues in disaster, response, and recovery at the annual Urban Area Security Initiative Conference.
CCAoA connected child care resource and referral agency (CCR&R) staff from Alabama, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Virginia to the American Heart Association's Voices for Healthy Kids project. Participants from these states attended a two-day summit in Minneapolis. CCAoA provided an overview of the national policy landscape's opportunities to support healthy active living policies in states. Participants also learned more about the Voices for Healthy Kids project's technical assistance and funding opportunities, heard case studies about health policy campaigns in child care in other states, and discussed the importance of coalition building and equity.
An enhanced version of the Child Care Aware® website went live on June 30. Improvements to the website include a better user experience with improved navigation, updated “live chat” functionality, and a mobile-friendly experience. Visit the enhanced site at http://childcareaware.org.
The Parent and Provider Services Team continues to manage the Army Fee Assistance Program transition from the General Services Administration to CCAoA. The program officially launched with CCAoA on February 22, and we are currently accepting applications from Army families and providers. Phases 1–3 of the Army Fee Assistance Program transition have been completed, and phase four has been initiated. More than 4,000 families transitioned to date. For the most up to date information on the transition, and to interact with other Army families, “like” the Army Fee Assistance at CCAoA Facebook page and follow them on Twitter. The Army Fee Assistance website will also continue to provide updates throughout the transition.
Online and On-Air
We are finalizing the Child Care in America: 2016 State Fact Sheets. This year’s report includes a lot of exciting new information for child care stakeholders and policymakers. The 2016 State Fact Sheets will be released to CCAoA members on July 7 and to the public on July 11. Resources and materials will be available on our website.
CCAoA and the National Environmental Health Association (NEHA) have launched a new, recurring blog series covering environmental health and children. Blog posts will explore important issues that bridge the gap between environmental health and safety issues for children, including recent developments in these spaces, associated initiatives and legislation, challenges and concerns, and best practices on how to address environmental health and safety issues. You can learn more about the series here.
Summer is here, and with it the pesky hassle of mosquitoes. This year, the threat of mosquitoes has been in the spotlight more than usual thanks to the Zika virus. There are many effective ways to avoid mosquitoes and prevent those annoyingly itchy mosquito bites; our recent blog post reviews the proper repellents to use on and around children. On June 22, the emergency preparedness team also conducted a webinar with experts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Children’s Health Team, and Pregnancy and Birth Defects Task Force. More than 1,000 individuals registered for the webinar, which covered various topics, including: the basics of the Zika virus (how its spread, signs and symptoms, risk factors), the role of child care providers in prevention (mosquito control and repellent guidelines), and recommendations for pregnant mothers and parents considering pregnancy. A recording of the webinar, along with updated Zika virus information, is available here.
Did you miss Symposium 2016? A video archive of select plenary sessions from our premier event are now available for purchase. Learn more and sign up for Symposium 2016 video archive access today!
ICYMI: June in the News
Michelle McCready was quoted in a high profile U.S. News & World Report article on selecting child care. “All child care is not created equal,” says Michelle. To choose quality, safe, and affordable day child care, "we encourage parents to have a strong process in place." Read the full article.
CCAoA welcomed Katherine Cothern as the Membership Council representative to the organization’s Board of Directors in June. Kathie will replace former Board member Mindy Bennett, who recently joined the Statewide Child Care Resource and Referral in Indiana as Senior Director.