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Catalyzing Growth: Using Data to Change Child Care

By CCAoA on September 14, 2022

ARLINGTON, VA, September 14, 2022 — Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today released the first report of our research series: Catalyzing Growth: Using Data to Change Child Care. The report, Annual Child Care Landscape Analysis: 2021 Supply and Quality Trends, provides detailed information about the child care system in the United States. 

This year, CCAoA is featuring longitudinal supply data to increase understanding of how the supply of child care has changed since 2019, prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nationally, CCAoA found that while there was an increase in the number of child care centers from 2020 to 2021, the total number of centers remains slightly lower than the number open in 2019.   

There continues to be a downward trend in the supply of licensed Family Child Care (FCC) homes. Among the 40 states for which CCAoA has complete data, we found a 10% decrease in FCC homes over the last three years (107,783 in 2019 to 97,393 in 2021). Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the supply of FCC homes was decreasing. This is an alarming trend because FCC homes are an affordable option for many families and often the only choice for families, especially in rural communities. 

“The supply of child care centers has returned to some extent, but the number of open centers is still below those open in 2019,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware of America. “This slow regrowth of centers, combined with continued losses of family child care homes, spells a continuing child care crisis for our country.” 

Explore the Child Care Landscape Analysis on the CCAoA website. 

Tracking child care supply is critical to understanding how our child care system is functioning. This year, the Child Care Landscape Analysis includes the following information, by state:  

  • Number of licensed child care centers and family child care (FCC) homes open at the end of 2019, 2020 and 2021;  
  • Number of licensed school-age child care programs open at the end of 2021; 
  • Total licensed capacity for centers, FCCs, and school-age child care programs at the end of 2021; 
  • Number of programs participating in quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS), along with the total capacity of these programs; 
  • Total number and licensed capacity of programs rated at the highest level of the state’s QRIS; 
  • Total number of child care referrals provided to families by child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies. 

The Child Care Landscape Analysis is the first installment in CCAoA’s comprehensive overview of the child care field, Catalyzing Growth: Using Data to Change Child Care. Over the next few months, we will release Price of Care: 2021 Child Care Affordability; Perspectives from the Field: The Voices of Child Care Providers, CCR&Rs and Families; and The Year in Child Care: 2021 Data, Analysis and Recommendations.

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Child Care Aware® of America CEO Lynette M. Fraga to Resign in Early 2023

By CCAoA on August 17, 2022

ARLINGTON, VA, August 17, 2022 —  Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced that Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lynette M. Fraga is leaving the organization early in 2023.  

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Child Care Aware® of America CEO Resignation Announcement

By CCAoA on August 16, 2022

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today announced that Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lynette M. Fraga is leaving the organization early in 2023.  

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CCAoA Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act

By CCAoA on July 28, 2022

CCAoA is frustrated and disappointed with the news that the Senate may soon consider a budget reconciliation package, the Inflation Reduction Act, that includes no funding for child care and early learning. There is still time left for Congress to right this wrong. 

For months, child care programs, system leaders, families and businesses have shared countless stories of the longstanding challenges the sector faces. Their messages are the same: the status quo of low compensation for educators and high prices for families is unacceptable. The child care system can only move toward thriving in the future with robust public investment.  

The news that a budget reconciliation bill committed to inflation reduction, as its name implies, is slated to move forward without tackling the high prices families face for child care is alarming. As CCAoA research shows, in three out of four regions of the U.S., the annual price of center-based child care for an infant exceeds the cost of housing. In all four regions, child care exceeds the annual cost of in‑state tuition at a public four‑year university. If Congress’ main concern is helping families deal with rising costs, nothing could be more important than investments that help reduce the high price of child care. 

CCAoA believes this is also an issue of equity. As we consider the impact of the pandemic on women, who still make up all net labor force leavers since February 2020, it is unacceptable for Congress to continue to make policy choices that leave them behind. 

Before voting on the Inflation Reduction Act, CCAoA implores Congress to include significant, sustained funding for the child care and early learning system. 

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JOINT STATEMENT: Senate Must Make Good on Promise to Solve Child Care Crisis

By CCAoA on July 18, 2022

In response to movement on a reconciliation package framework that excludes any funding
for child care and early learning, 24 prominent national organizations issued the following
statement calling on Congressional Leaders to reverse course and provide funding to address
America’s ever-worsening child care crisis:


At a moment when Americans are struggling just to get by amid the worst inflation in decades,
the Senate is moving forward with a reconciliation framework that excludes any investment to
address the largest financial burden facing millions of families: child care. America’s early
learning system, which was already failing to meet the needs of families and providers before
the pandemic, is currently being propped up by federal relief funding that will soon expire,
putting the future of our nation’s child care in jeopardy. Any reconciliation package that comes
before Congress for a vote must include significant, sustained funding to prevent the collapse of
our child care and early learning system and make quality care options available and affordable
for more families.


For the past two years, there has been clear acknowledgement from lawmakers and voters
alike that Congress must invest in building a system of early learning and care that meets the
needs of families, young children, and the providers they rely on. President Biden and
Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate touted early learning and care as foundational to
supporting America’s workforce and in turn, our nation's economic recovery and long-term
success, which was backed up by a proposed transformational investment in child care, pre-K,
and Head Start in the Build Back Better Act. It is unimaginable, then, that the Senate would
move forward with a package that does not include a single penny to ensure child care is
available and accessible in every zip code across the country. Women, in particular, will bear the
burden of Congress’s inaction, preventing countless moms from pursuing economic security —
let alone economic success.


Indeed, failure to include child care investments in reconciliation will not only be a missed
opportunity to immediately lower costs for families; it pushes the nation’s early learning system
closer to a catastrophic funding cliff that will affect America’s entire economy, resulting in higher
prices and longer waitlists for families and reduced access to quality care for children, while
lower wages push more early educators out of the field. There is no doubt that lawmakers
understand that the positive impact of investing in early learning and care would be felt for
generations. So too, will the consequences of inaction. As Congressional Leaders turn this
framework into a legislative package, they must add back in a meaningful portion of the original
child care and early learning funding that were eliminated, and come together through any
means possible to provide the substantive investments that are desperately needed.


Organizations: America Forward, Bank Street Education Center, CareForAllChildren, Center for
Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Child Care Aware of America, Council for a Strong America
(CSA), Early Care and Education Consortium (ECE), Early Learning Ventures (ELV),Educare
Learning Network, First Five Years Fund (FFYF), First Focus Campaign for Children, Futures
Without Violence, Imaginable Futures, LEGO Systems, Inc.,Main Street Alliance (MSA),
MomsRising, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Head
Start Association (NHSA), National Women's Law Center (NWLC), Save the Children, Save the
Children Action Network, Start Early, The Century Foundation, ZERO TO THREE

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As vaccines for younger U.S. children roll out, the effects on day care centers may be muted.

By CCAoA on June 30, 2022

New York Times

“We expect there to be an initial rush, where 20 percent of parents will get vaccinated in the next couple of weeks,” said Nikki Garro, the director of early childhood health programs at Child Care Aware, a national child care advocacy organization. “Then it will be a slow trickle.”

It is unlikely that day care providers or early childhood centers would mandate coronavirus vaccinations, she said, as only seven states require flu shots for child care and pre-K programs. But every state requires the measles, mumps and rubella inoculation before child care enrollment.

“We want to be sure to support programs because parents may have questions and also ensure that the adults too, who have not received their booster shot, still recognize that is an important part of reducing the spread,” Ms. Garro said. “Also, children under 6 months who are in child care will still not have access to vaccines, so we need to protect the youngest children.”

Read the full article

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CCAoA Statement on Texas School Shooting

By CCAoA on May 25, 2022

Child Care Aware® of America mourns the senseless loss of children and adults from a mass shooting yesterday at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts are broken for the families who have lost their children, for a school full of children who are now forever impacted resulting from the horrific trauma they have experienced, and for a community that is forever changed as it grieves. 

 The “pandemic of violence” that has made tragedies like this across the United States all too common cannot continue.  

 Whether children have witnessed a violent event, or have seen coverage of events in the news, it is important for parents and caregivers to be ready to help and talk about their feelings. Visit our resource page to help children understand and cope after facing traumatic events, including a fact sheet that outlines what stress may look like in children younger than five years old (also available in Spanish) 

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Families and child care providers struggle with high costs

By CCAoA on May 15, 2022

Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien

For many American families, paying for child care is expensive, but necessary. On the other end, child care providers struggle with thin margins after paying staff, food and facility costs.

CCAoA CEO Dr. Lynette Fraga spoke with Laura Chavez about the child care crisis: “The first part we need to address to come to a solution is to ensure we are aware and we acknowledge that child care is an issue everyone needs to focus on.”

Chavez also visits Clinton, Mississippi to see how one family and and a child care owner are working to close those gaps.

Watch the story

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New Mexico to offer a year of free child care to most residents

By CCAoA on April 29, 2022

Washington Post

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced Thursday that New Mexico will cover the costs of child care for most residents through June 2023. The benefit, which covers families earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, makes New Mexico the first state to offer no-cost care to such a broad range of incomes, officials said.

Mario Cardona, the chief of policy and practice for Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit that advocates for affordable child care, called the announcement “the type of thing that we should be seeing across the country.”

Though other states, including Georgia, Virginia and Kansas, have expanded eligibility and made child care more affordable during the pandemic, none have gone as far as New Mexico, which has committed a historic and unusual amount of resources to the sector, Cardona said. Other states have largely relied on federal relief from the Cares Act and the American Rescue Plan to pay for child-care improvements, but the last of those dollars expires in 2024 and lawmakers may be hesitant, Cardona said, to roll out new programs using temporary money.

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CCAoA to Lead Provider Appreciation Day® on May 6

By CCAoA on April 26, 2022

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) will lead Provider Appreciation Day® on May 6 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of child care providers across the country. 

Provider Appreciation Day® is celebrated the Friday before Mother’s Day every year to recognize child care providers, teachers and other educators of young children everywhere. CCAoA convenes Provider Appreciation Day® each year to amplify our nation’s collective gratitude for those who support the social, emotional and physical care of our youngest children. 

 “Child care providers were ‘essential’ long before the pandemic. They keep our children safe, nurture their curiosity and prepare them for a lifetime of learning and growth,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of CCAoA. “Together with our network of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies, nonprofit and business partners, we invite you to join us in thanking and celebrating child care providers across the nation.” 

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