As we take stock of this year-like-no-other, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) sees a glimmer of hope in all of the destruction and reflection wrought by COVID-19 and yet another racial reckoning for our nation. This glimmer of hope is the chance to completely rebuild our child care system. Today, CCAoA releases bold new ideas to help policymakers, advocates, parents, providers and employers create an equitable, transformed child care system in 2021 and beyond.
We know that high-quality early learning environments fuel the success of children and have positive social, economic and health impacts that last into adulthood.
States can strongly influence whether their child care systems are quality-driven or not, especially in the areas of health and safety. That’s because quality can be achieved, in part, through strong state licensing regulations.
By Donna Butts and Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the essential role of caregivers, those who care for us when we are young and old, and given us an opportunity to reimagine care from a lifespan perspective. This will be particularly important after the pandemic permanently closes an estimated 30-50% of child care providers nationwide and the high death toll causes us to reimagine elder care homes.
The COVID-19 public health crisis is heightening awareness of child care as a core foundational need for both working parents and employers. Under typical circumstances, parents need accessible, safe and affordable child care so they can work. Employers also need quality child care options for their employees for their business to work. This year (2020) has been anything but typical. The COVID-19-induced erosion of an already broken child care system is having critical impacts on both parents with young children and their employers.
Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) understands that this is an uncertain time for child care providers, as they make difficult decisions about what's best for their business and the families and community they serve. This is also an uncertain time for families as they make decisions about child care. The safety and well-being of staff, family members and children is of utmost importance.
It happens every other year. Child Care Aware® of America hosts a Symposium that brings together individuals from across the country to discuss the latest research, policy and practices related to the early child care and education community. This year’s 4-day event offers participants opportunities to hear from and connect with thought leaders, Congressional staff and other early education professionals.