CCAoA Statement in Response to President-elect Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan

By CCAoA on January 14, 2021

Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America, released the following statement in response to President-elect Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan:

“President-elect Biden’s bold plan to rescue our communities and help us fight COVID-19 is sorely needed. On the heels of dispiriting news about the growing spread of the virus and the disparate impact of the pandemic on the employment and labor force participation of women of color, we need action.

Child care is a critical part of our response to the pandemic and broader economic recovery. Child Care Aware® of America is grateful to see the President-elect’s proposal to invest $40 billion in the child care system. In conjunction with his plan’s commitment to bolster wages, provide paid leave and health care, address housing and nutrition insecurity, and pull children out of poverty – all issues that families and workers in the child care system struggle with – this rescue package would have a tremendous impact on communities across the country.

We stand ready to work with Congress and the incoming Administration on this plan and urge them to act quickly.”

Topics: Press Release

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Child Care is Essential for Economic Recovery

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on December 25, 2020

Giving Compass

By Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D.

When COVID-19 was layered onto the already fragile child care system, it shattered. Many providers remain closed or are in danger of closing, parents are struggling to find child care arrangements that will allow them to work productively, and without a reliable, steady workforce, our country will not recover economically from the pandemic-related shutdown. 

Read the full article.

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CCAoA Statement on Nomination of Miguel Cardona to Serve as Secretary of Education

By CCAoA on December 23, 2020

Today, President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education. Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America—the nation’s leading voice for child care—released the following statement: 

Child Care Aware® of America is pleased to see Connecticut Commissioner of Education Dr. Miguel Cardona nominated to serve as U.S. Secretary of Education. Cardona has demonstrated a commitment to advancing an agenda that supports children from birth and even served as co-chairperson of the Connecticut Birth to Grade Three Leaders Council, according to his state biography. We couldn’t agree more with Cardona’s statement that, “For far too long, we’ve spent money on interventions and band aids to address disparities instead of laying a wide, strong foundation of quality, universal early childhood education, and quality social and emotional supports for all of our learners.” CCAoA looks forward to more closely examining his record and urge the Senate to quickly consider his nomination. 

Topics: Press Release

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What Working Parents Need Above All Else Right Now, According to 6 Experts

By CCAoA on December 22, 2020

Fatherly

So what do working parents really need? We rounded up six experts all of whom have different expertise about the needs of working parents, and asked each of them just that. Answers ranged from far-reaching policy changes to simple respites from the grind of working from a home filled with stir-crazy children. Here’s what they said.

Working Parents Need a Working Child Care System

America’s childcare system was in tatters before COVID. The U.S. spends less than 0.5 percent of our GDP on child care, far less than most industrialized countries. American child care funding relies on a patchwork of funding sources, often overburdening parents and keeping quality care inaccessible for low income families. The number of child care providers fell short of the demand for child care before the pandemic and dwindled further as centers shuttered under lockdown. Child Care Aware of America CEO Lynette M. Fraga says America urgently needs to repair its broken child care system.

Read the full article.

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CCAoA Statement on Federal COVID-19 Relief and FY21 Funding

By CCAoA on December 22, 2020

USCapitol_-_U_S__Capitol_at_NightThis week, Congress officially approved both federal funding for the remainder of FY2021 and COVID-19 relief, providing support to child care and other early learning programs.  

Funding for FY21 included:  

  • $5.911 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG)an $85 million increase from FY 2020; and  
  • $10.748 billion for Head Start/Early Head Start – a $135 million increase from FY2020 

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 combined full-year funding with relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The relief funding included $10 billion dedicated to child care, $250 million in support for Head Start, $284 billion in loans for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program, $166 billion in direct payment checks, and an extension of unemployment benefits 

In response, Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America—the nation’s leading voice for child care—released the following statement: 

We are grateful that child care was one of the industries to receive targeted COVID-19 relief in the package. This critical funding will help providers address the financial burdens associated with increased operating costs and decreased enrollment during the pandemic. However, $10 billion is far from what the child care system needs to survive the pandemic. This will only provide short-term relief on the long road to recovery for child care. 

Topics: Press Release

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Mario Cardona to Join CCAoA as Chief of Policy and Practice

By CCAoA on December 16, 2020

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today announced that Mario Cardona is joining CCAoA on January 4, 2021, as its new Chief of Policy and Practice.  

Topics: Press Release

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CCAoA Welcomes New Board Members and Officers

By CCAoA on December 14, 2020

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) welcomes five new Board members and four new Board officers who will assume their positions in January 2021.    

Topics: Press Release

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CCAoA Statement on Nomination of Xavier Becerra to Serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services

By CCAoA on December 08, 2020

This week, President-elect Joe Biden announced the nomination of California Attorney General Xavier Becerra to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America—the nation’s leading voice for child care—released the following statement: 

Child Care Aware® of America is pleased to see California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a leader with a track record in support of child care and early learning, nominated to be Secretary of Health and Human Services. If confirmed, he would be the first Latino to lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. We look forward to more closely examining his record and urge the Senate to quickly consider his nomination to ensure that the country has a leader at the helm of one of our most critical agencies during this time of crisis. 

Topics: Press Release

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Coronavirus takes toll on Black, Latino child care providers

By CCAoA on December 07, 2020

Associated Press

“Prior to the pandemic, the child care system was fractured,” said Lynette Fraga, CEO of Child Care Aware of America. “Now, it’s shattered.”

Even before the coronavirus, many parents already faced an impossible choice — caring for their children or earning a living. But COVID-19′s impact on the system has worsened that, Fraga says, and its effects risk creating “child care deserts,” leaving parents unable to return to work, reducing incomes and taking away early education opportunities crucial for a child’s development.

The U.S. child care industry has long relied on Black and Latina women, with women of color making up 40% of its workforce, according to the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment. These women have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. A July survey from the National Association for the Education of Young Children stated half of minority-owned child care businesses expect to close permanently without additional assistance.

“The pandemic has unveiled how little access to support many of these women have,” Fraga said. “It’s exacerbated and spotlighted the inequities we’ve always known existed here.”

Read the full article.

Topics: Media Mention

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The COVID-19 math doesn’t work for Washington’s child care providers

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on October 25, 2020

Spokane Spokesman-Review

Op-ed by Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware of America, and Deeann Puffert, CEO of Child Care Aware of Washington.

This is a critical time for our economy. It is also a critical time for the most important workforce support of all – child care. Parents cannot work, no matter how essential they are, if they do not have child care for their children. Earlier this spring, nearly 6% of Washington nurses who responded to a survey reported they had to use sick time, or not work at all, due to not having child care.

Now, with many K-12 schools offering remote learning only, many more children are in need of child care who previously attended elementary schools. Yet our state’s child care programs are struggling to keep their doors open, and many have closed.

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High-quality child care programs don’t just fall from the sky whenever they are needed. They are built over time upon a foundation of trust, health and safety guidelines and small business ingenuity.

That’s why Child Care Aware of America and Child Care Aware of Washington are asking Congress to invest in the long-term stability and success of our country’s child care system.

We would never expect our K-12 educational system to struggle month after month with only stopgap funding, and then expect it to be 100% ready for in-person instruction when the pandemic subsides.

We cannot expect it of our mostly privately funded child care system either.

Investments reveal what matters. Investing in America’s children, families and workforce matters.

For Washington’s and the nation’s economy to reopen after the COVID-19 threat subsides, millions of families will need safe, affordable child care. Let’s make sure it will be there for all with robust public investment.

Read the full op-ed.

Topics: Media Mention

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