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Child care sector marked by fewer providers and increased prices amid pandemic

By CCAoA on February 09, 2022

EdSource

Nearly 16,000 child care providers, 8,900 child care centers and 7,000 licensed family child care programs, permanently closed from December 2019 to March 2021, according to a new report from Child Care Aware of America

“Parents continue to struggle to find and afford child care as they re-enter the workforce,” said Lynette M. Fraga, CEO of Child Care Aware. “Child care programs are short-staffed and providers are burned out. And still too few children have access to high-quality early learning experiences to prepare them for success in school and beyond. Without large-scale investments in our child care system, such as the Build Back Better Act, these trends will continue.” 

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New Report Finds Fewer Child Care Providers and Increased Prices, Highlighting Need for Significant Federal Investment in Child Care

By CCAoA on February 08, 2022

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today released a new report and interactive website that outline how the U.S. child care system has changed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The report, titled Demanding Change: Repairing our Child Care System, highlights new survey data showing that nearly 16,000 child care providers (8,900 child care centers and 7,000 licensed family child care programs) permanently closed from December 2019 to March 2021 in 37 states for which data was available. This represents a 9% decrease in child care providers. The survey data also shows that the national annual average price of child care in 2020 was around $10,174, a 5% increase from 2019 and at a rate faster than the increase in the price for consumer goods over the same period of time.  
 
The report contains sections on child care supply, demand, affordability, and the child care workforce. Each section features data from CCAoA’s annual survey of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies and other state partners, along with case studies that focus on critical issues facing our country and how they impact the child care system, including equity, COVID‑19, the role of data and the economy. 
 
Explore the interactive website and report: childcareaware.org/demanding-change 

Topics: Press Release

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Mario Cardona Selected for Pahara Fellowship for Education Leaders

By CCAoA on February 03, 2022

Mario Cardona, Child Care Aware® of America’s Chief of Policy and Practice, has been selected for a Pahara Fellowship, a one-year program that identifies exceptional leaders in the educational excellence and equity movement, facilitates their dynamic growth, and strengthens their collective efforts to dramatically improve public education, especially those programs serving low-income children and communities. 

Topics: Press Release

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CCAoA Expands Disaster Preparedness Project in Midwest States

By CCAoA on January 20, 2022

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today announced the expansion of a disaster preparedness project for Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies in Midwest states. This project is one of the many ways that CCAoA builds capacity within the child care system in order to advance equity and to impact the quality of care for children and families. 
 
Most recently, the project involved CCR&R agencies in Iowa, Missouri (Kansas City metro area), Montana and Oklahoma working to integrate child care needs at all levels and phases of emergencies. It also promoted cross-sector collaboration by ensuring first responders, secondary responders, emergency managers, business leaders and elected officials recognize the needs of children and the child care workforce before, during and after disaster.  

Topics: Press Release

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COVID Underscored the Need for Early Childhood Education. Are Fundraisers Seeing More Support?

By CCAoA on January 12, 2022

Inside Philanthropy

At the Arlington, Virginia-based Child Care Aware of America (CCAA), an umbrella organization of child care resource and referral agencies, Deputy Executive Officer Michelle McCready...reports a big uptick in interest and an expanded pool of new foundations and funders from adjacent issues. Institutions with a traditional focus on disaster relief, economic security, women’s issues and K-12 education now all see common cause with ECE and are responding positively to requests for support.

Topics: Media Mention

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Federal Aid Is Propping Up Child Care. It Isn't a Long-Term Fix.

By CCAoA on January 12, 2022

Stateline (Pew Charitable Trusts)

Many of the recent proposals will likely be funded by American Rescue Plan Act funds—even if governors aren’t making that explicit, said Anne Hedgepeth, deputy chief of policy for Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit that works with child care resource and referral agencies and advocates for child care policies. 

“You see relief [funds] driving it,” she said. 

Some states have started distributing the federal child care funds, but others still are working on their plans for the money. 

That’s partly due to timing, Hedgepeth said. In some states, legislatures need to approve the spending and didn’t have time to do so last session.

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Topics: Media Mention

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WATCH: Helms joins CCAoA Board of Directors

By CCAoA on January 04, 2022

Hot Springs Sentinel-Record (AR)

Terri Helms, program director of Child Care Aware West Central Arkansas at National Park College, will join the board of directors of Child Care Aware of America this month.

"It's an overwhelmingly humbling experience for me to be a part of a group that I so admire and respect," Helms said Monday.

"I've served on many committees, I've served on boards before, but never at this level in this capacity. The expectations are great and I like a good challenge. So I have to remind myself, be careful what I asked for because it is here," she said.

Read the full article and watch the video.

Topics: Media Mention

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Child care hiring crisis is closing programs and keeping parents out of workforce

By CCAoA on December 16, 2021

CNN.com

The average annual cost of child care nationwide is more than $10,000 per kid, according to Child Care Aware of America. For the average couple, that's roughly 10% of their income. For single parents, it's 35%.

President Joe Biden's Build Back Better bill -- which passed the House in November but whose future is uncertain in the Senate -- would invest nearly $400 billion in child care, boosting worker wages, offering universal free preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, and guaranteeing that middle-class families pay no more than 7% of their incomes on child care.

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Topics: Media Mention

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Child Care Aware of America Launches Future of Quality Child Care Initiative

By CCAoA on December 01, 2021

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) announced today that it is launching the Future of Quality Child Care Initiative, an in-depth examination of how child care quality can be improved when inequities are removed, parent preferences are affirmed, and all providers are valued equally.  

CCAoA approaches this topic with a level of curiosity and purpose in service to a moment where the transformation of the child care system is at hand. It is urgent and required for re-envisioning equity within a system that is currently inequitable. The initiative’s goal is to clarify what quality means for early childhood education across provider settings, including home-based care and care offered during non-traditional hours. It will include an analysis of the pandemic’s impact on care and will be informed by input from child care providers, educators, parents, children, employers and other organizations.  
 
CCAoA will publish policy, research and practice recommendations on professional development and learning, resource allocation, provider capacity building, quality rating and improvement, and licensure beginning in the summer of 2022. This work will help policymakers, advocates and providers better understand how to create measures of quality that are equitable and benefit both children and the child care field. 

Topics: Press Release

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CCAoA Statement on House Passage of Build Back Better Act

By CCAoA on November 19, 2021

Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America, released the following statement in response to passage of the Build Back Better Act in the House of Representatives: 

Today we are one step closer to making an accessible, affordable child care system a reality for families and children across the country. To the Representatives that voted to advance the Build Back Better Act – thank you.  

High-quality child care and preschool support the well-being and economic security of our children, families and communities. Our future as a country – both immediate and long-term – requires a path forward towards a more equitable system of early learning that has robust support.  

The Build Back Better Act would put us on that path by investing long-term to make high-quality child care affordable and accessible for millions of families and ensure universal preschool is available for all 3- and 4-year-old children. 

As family budgets are stretched, there is urgency for Congress to act and get the Build Back Better Act across the finish line. It’s time to get this done.  

Topics: Press Release

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