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Introducing: The Child Care and Interoperability Series

By Laurie Rackas on May 28, 2021

High-quality child care data are essential to informed decision-making. Accurate data are needed to answer questions such as: how many children are being served in programs nationwide? What areas are experiencing gaps in the supply of child care? Where should we target more resources and supports? Currently, a lot of child care data are collected by multiple sources in the nonprofit and state government arenas. But there is no consistency in how these entities gather and report data. Instead, the data are siloed and often inaccessible.  

Topics: Systems Building

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Re-imagining our Child Care System

By Guest Blogger on May 27, 2021

 

Child care is a two-generation workforce issue — with access to high-quality child care being crucial to supporting a highly skilled workforce and vital to developing our workforce of tomorrow. Child Care Aware® of America explored the child care landscape in their report, The U.S. and the High Price of Child Care: An Examination of a Broken System. They discovered our current system is:

  • Fragmented: Each state has its own set of child care policies and funding operations.
  • Inequitable: Children of color and children from low-income families are less likely to attend high-quality child care programs.
  • Inaccessible: For many families, high-quality child care is not an option. There are not enough child care providers to meet the demand, and providers are leaving the field in record numbers. This particularly affects families of color, families living in rural areas and children with special needs.
  • Underfunded: The U.S. spends less than 0.5% of its gross domestic product on child care far less than most industrialized countries.

Topics: Systems Building

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Interoperability: Why Child Care Data Systems Need to Talk

By Laurie Rackas on May 20, 2021

Do you remember when you created a document on your Apple computer and tried to share it with a colleague using the Microsoft platform? If you wanted feedback, forget it. The file was unreadable. You could jump through hoops to try to convert your document, but it took time and energy. Your productivity sank.

Topics: Systems Building

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Child Care Collaboration: Foundational Support for the Workforce of Tomorrow

By Guest Blogger on May 20, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought child care challenges to the forefront of families, businesses and legislatures minds. In a recent series of state-specific surveys completed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, referred to as the Untapped Potential economic impact reports, it was found that child care issues resulted in anywhere from $479 million to $3.47 billion in estimated annual losses for state economies. To find innovative solutions, we must build innovative partnerships. State and local chambers and Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can combine their respective expertise to implement child care solutions that are specific to the needs of their communities.

Topics: Systems Building

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How does the American Rescue Plan help child poverty?

By Casey Peeks on April 09, 2021

 

In the same way that the pandemic exacerbated the cracks in our child care system, COVID-19 also exacerbated the inequities that exist in our country and for children living in poverty. Data from the Children’s Defense Fund shows that children are the poorest age group in America, with nearly 1 in 6 children, about 11.9 million, living in poverty in 2018. Additionally, the youngest children tend to be the poorest and 73% of children living in poverty are children of color.

The good news is that change is coming. Earlier this month, Congress passed and the President signed into law the American Rescue Plan (ARP), a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

Topics: Systems Building, Professional Development, Policy & Advocacy, Coronavirus

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COVID-19: CCR&R Successes During Unprecedented Times

By Julie Looper Coats on April 07, 2021

As the COVID-19 pandemic inundated the child care system, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) received helpful funds from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy to support and provide relief to Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) member organizations across the country. In the summer and fall of 2020, CCAoA used the funds to provide CCR&Rs with resources to meet pressing needs within their communities.  

Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Systems Building, Professional Development, Health & Safety, Coronavirus

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