Many families struggle to find child care that meets their needs and high-quality programs are difficult to find and typically have long waiting lists. We believe that no child or family should have to choose between affordability and quality. So we continue our work in convening thought-leaders, advocating on Capitol Hill, and keeping our communities abreast of the issues and solutions. We are proud of the efforts of our family advocates, staff, child care providers and the entire child care community!
2017 was one of significant strides. But here’s a list of the top 5 of the accomplishments of which we are particularly proud:
1. FOCUSING ON FAMILIES & COLLABORATING WITH COMMUNITIES
- RWJF SUPPORT. Led by our health policy team, we received funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to support the early development and testing of a Child Care Data Center (CCDC). We are looking forward to sharing this key resource in late 2018.
- FAMILY VOICES. We launched our Family Voices Blog/Vlog Series in May. This series gives parents and families a chance to share their contemporary triumphs, challenges, and opportunities present in their child care settings. If you have a story to share, let us know.
- MILITARY FAMILIES. In 2017 alone, we served more than 20,000 families and 9,153 providers serving children. We are pleased to continue this support in 2017, and only hope to serve more military families in the coming year.
- DISASTER RELIEF AND RECOVERY. Our Emergency Preparedness team traveled to Puerto Rico in November to assess damage to child care facilities and aid in their recovery. We also created the Child Care Disaster Relief Fund. We also launched our Disaster Response and Recovery Webinar Series in the fall of 2017 to help prepare CR&Rs for disasters. Those webinars are archived
- VROOM WEEK. Vroom Week was the week of October 16. Celebrating our partnership, Child Care Aware® of America + Vroom shared Vroom tips on social media with the opportunity for families and providers to share their own Vroom experiences. Vroom ambassador CCR&R sites celebrated Vroom Week in their local communities by hosting events to share Vroom in their communities. Mark your calendars for our next Vroom Week celebration November 26-30, 2018.
2. AMPLIFYING BY ADVOCACY
- CHILD CARE WORKS. The Child Care Works team hit the road to provide customized, on-site advocacy training and technical assistance in all four of our priority states: New York, Washington, Alaska, and Virginia. We look forward to expanding advocacy and media trainings to more states in 2018.
- POLICY SUMMIT. We were excited to have more than 300 attendees join us for this year’s Child Care Aware® of America Policy Summit on April 23-25 in Washington, D.C. We also celebrated our 30th anniversary kick-off, including the unveiling of our 30th anniversary logo. Be sure to join us for the commemorative 2018 Symposium and Gala.
- DAY ON THE HILL. In April 2017, 80 family advocates from 22 states and the District of Columbia joined us on Capitol Hill to share with their legislators the need for affordable, high-quality child care for all. Join us this year at the 2018 Symposium. We encourage our parent advocates to apply for one of our all-expenses paid scholarships.
- THE PACE ACT. In July 2017, Representatives Kevin Yoder (R-Kansas) and Stephanie Murphy (D-Florida) introduced the Promoting Affordable Child Care for Everyone Act (PACE Act) in the House of Representatives. We were proud to be a part of it!
- ACTION CENTERS: We’re working with priority states and other key states to build digital action centers. In 2018, look for action centers in our Mapping the Gap™ states, and in states where Child Care Works will be partnering with Every Child Matters on electoral engagement!
- BABY’S FIRST TOWN HALL. In August, 39 individuals covering 19 states from California to Connecticut, took action by visiting with lawmakers during Baby’s First Town Hall to talk about funding for early care and education programs. We are so proud!
3. LEADING THROUGH LEARNING
- LEADERSHIP INSTITUTE. In October, we held our Leadership Institute, Growing Momentum toward Breakthrough Solutions, where we had more than 125 attendees from across the country. These leaders came together for stimulating, interactive, and transformational dialogue. If you missed it in 2017, you won’t want to miss it this year! Look for further information in mid-2018.
- NEW MEMBER WEBINARS. Members had exclusive access to exciting and informative webinars on various topics including: “Advocacy Messages that Resonate with Child Care Teachers and Providers,” and “Family and Community Engagement: Purposeful Planning.” These are archived for our members! If you aren’t a member already, we invite you to join! More webinars are coming in 2018.
- TRAINING ACADEMY. In November 2017, we successfully launched new content featuring an improved user interface, interactive digital content, online communities, and downloadable action plans—all designed to help providers learn more effectively. New Spanish CDA, new courses, and new classroom strategies are coming in 2018!
4. REACH THROUGH RESEARCH
- COST OF CARE. We released our annual Parents and the High Cost of Care report in December 2017. This report and map examines the cost and affordability of child care across states. We were proud to have our report featured in Forbes (an op-ed written by Dr. Lynette M. Fraga), AP, CNBC, OregonLive, MSNBC, and Market Watch, to name a few.
- MAPPING GAPS. We released Mapping the GapTM: Examining Child Care Supply & Demand Across the Country where we took a deeper look at states and mapped their unique stories in child care supply and demand with our first two story maps: Massachusettsand Alaska. Special thanks to our various partners for sharing this resource – ZERO TO THREE, Generations United, HiMama, ChildCareSuffolk, Center for Nutrition, EarlyEducationforAll, Teachstone, BLH Technologies and Seven Hills CCR. Look for more state maps coming in early 2018!
With all these awesome accomplishments, we still know there is a lot of work to do! Join us in making 2018 the best year yet.