CCAoA

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5 Signs You're Financially Ready to Have a Baby

By CCAoA on June 29, 2021

U.S. News & World Report

Child care will likely be a family's biggest expense during the first three to four years of their child's life. 

"It is unfortunate how much families have to consider this in their family planning. It should be a situation where there is care that is affordable and high quality nearby if you need it in this country," says Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware of America. However, he says "the price of child care remains incredibly high. It outpaces the costs of just about any household expense in the country, except for housing in the West."

The average annual price of child care was around $9,100 to $9,600 nationally in 2019, according to a report by Child Care Aware of America. However, costs vary dramatically by region. 

In California, for example, the average annual price of center-based infant child care was $16,452, representing 17.5% of the median household income in the state. In Arkansas, the annual price of center-based infant child care was $6,443, representing 8.9% of the median household income in the state.

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Topics: Media Mention

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Will schools and day cares require masks or COVID-19 vaccines in fall 2021?

By CCAoA on June 17, 2021

USA Today

There's no national data on vaccination rates among early childhood education staff. However, a survey conducted in March by the CDC indicated that vaccination rates among preschool workers mirrored that of the general adult population, with younger respondents more likely to express hesitancy, according to Nikki Garro, director of early childhood health programs at Child Care Aware of America.

What protocols will parents have to follow?

The protocols vary by locale and institution. However, the CDC recommends moving school pickup and drop-off to outside building as a means to limit COVID-19 transmission. This practice is very common, according to Garro, of Child Care Aware.

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The Return to the Office Is Pushing Even More Women Out of Work

By CCAoA on June 16, 2021

Bloomberg News

While finding affordable child care in the U.S. was difficult before the pandemic, several factors are making returning to the workplace now especially tough for parents. First, young children are still not eligible for vaccination, so returning workers may be concerned about transmitting the virus to them, even if the parents are inoculated. Second, good intentions and emergency care by companies are a Band-Aid, which doesn’t give parents confidence about going back to the office on a regular basis. And third, it’s even harder than it used to be to find good care.

Nationally, the estimate is that more than 30% of child care centers and 25% of in-home family day care closed during the pandemic, according to Child Care Aware of America, an organization that advocates for access to affordable child care. Staff turnover was high even before Covid, especially with such jobs paying only an average of $11.65 an hour.

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Military will pay toward in-home child care for some families in pilot program

By CCAoA on June 16, 2021

Military Times

Child Care Aware of America, the third-party administrator, on July 6 will start contacting parents who have requested in-home care through MilitaryChildCare.com with offers to participate in the pilot, as well as information about how to enroll, according to DoD spokeswoman Lisa Lawrence.

Child Care Aware will oversee the program to verify service member and child care provider eligibility, and provide the fee assistance payments to the approved providers. They will also ensure the providers successfully complete and maintain current background check requirements. Families must find their own child care provider. 

According to the website of Child Care Aware of America, which operates the fee assistance programs for the services, it serves about 10,000 military children a year.

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New State-by-State Data Shows Pandemic’s Impact on Child Care

By CCAoA on June 02, 2021

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today released new state-by-state data on child care supply and capacity, quality rating and improvement systems (QRIS) and Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency services from the year 2020.  

Of the 45 states that reported information, from 2019 to 2020, 25 states reported a decrease in the number of center-based programs and 26 states reported a decrease in the number of family child care programs. 

This new data is based on an annual survey of CCR&R agencies or other key child care stakeholders in each state.  

Link to state data: https://www.childcareaware.org/ccdc/ 

Topics: Press Release

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Child care costs $17,000 a year for California parents. Would Biden plan help?

By CCAoA on June 01, 2021

McClatchy DC

Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware of America, said the tax breaks are “meaningful improvements to ensure families have the resources they need to access child care, and promote the health and well-being of their children.”

But, Cardona said, “They are not a replacement for a direct investment in child care. We will need sustained, robust federal investment to grow an affordable, accessible and equitable child care system that values the work of caregivers and serves all communities.”

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States have never had this much money for child care. Could this be a turning point for the industry?

By CCAoA on May 24, 2021

The 19th

When it was passed in March, President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan included the single largest allocation for child care in the nation’s history: $39 billion. That’s more money than the United States has spent on child care in the past five years combined.

Combined with the billions in child care aid already included in earlier stimulus packages, states and tribes are looking at a degree of funding that could transform child care industries that have been neglected for decades, but they’ll have to do it with small departments and outdated systems. They will also have to focus on reaching people who have never qualified or been helped by child care dollars, a particular challenge that is beyond the scope of what agencies have done in the past. 

“It is more money than the states have ever received for child care — multiples more than they’ve ever received before — and it is a big undertaking, especially if you are thinking about reaching more children, more families, more providers who may not have a relationship with the states at all,” said Mario Cardona, the chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware, a national child care advocacy organization

Topics: Media Mention

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One key to getting women back to work post-pandemic: Childcare

By CCAoA on May 06, 2021

Reuters

The number of licensed childcare providers was 13% lower in December than it was a year earlier, according to the most recent figures available from Child Care Aware of America, a national organization that advocates for broader access to quality childcare.

"Once parents start going back to work, particularly mothers who are going to be re-entering the workforce, will there be enough supply of care to meet the needs of families?" said Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice for Child Care Aware of America.

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CCAoA to Lead Provider Appreciation Day on May 7

By CCAoA on May 03, 2021

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) will lead Provider Appreciation Day® on May 7 to recognize and celebrate the efforts of child care providers across the country in what has been a year of tremendous challenge for child care. 

“Child care providers were ‘essential’ long before the pandemic, and the past year has highlighted the lengths to which they are willing to go to keep their doors open, keep children safe and nurtured, support and engage families, and play a critical role in communities,” said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America. “Provider Appreciation Day® is a great opportunity to recognize the heroic efforts of providers and to say thank you.’” 

Topics: Press Release

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CCAoA Statement in Response to President Biden's American Families Plan

By CCAoA on April 28, 2021

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

With the announcement of the American Families Plan and its robust investment in child care and early learning, President Biden is charting a course forward for us to build the society and economy that we want for the future, a future that values children and their healthy and safe development, and values families and their caregiving needs.  

Child Care Aware of America is pleased to see a total investment of $425 billion for child care and early learning. This, and more, is needed to build the child care system into one that works for families, educators and communities. It is critical that as we invest in child care and early learning, we support and expand care provided to both infants and toddlers and to 3- and 4- year olds through universal pre-K in a mixed delivery system that ensures families can choose the best options for their children. It is also critical that we invest money toward our child care workforce, something the American Families Plan prioritizes.  

The American Families Plan also supports families and communities beyond their needs for child care by creating a national, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program, extending the expansion of the child tax credit and earned income tax credit, and making higher education more affordable. 

Topics: Press Release

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