Families and field professionals shared accounts that can influence strategies for child care system professionals to meet and engage with families more effectively and efficiently.
WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) released Family Voices Driving Quality Child Care Choices, a report on findings and recommendations from a survey of families on the contemporary child care needs of diverse, vulnerable, underserved families and clarifies where they turn, both in-person and online, to meet their child care information needs. Choosing child care is one of the most difficult decisions families make. Families and field professionals shared with CCAoA in focus groups, an online parent poll and key informant interviews, accounts that can influence strategies for child care system professionals to meet and engage with families more effectively and efficiently.
As Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs), providers and other stakeholders work to raise awareness on trusted sources of child care information and promote child care issues, it is critical that the voices of families be heard in those solutions. Key findings of the report include:
- Families value quality first and foremost over all things when selecting child care
- Families remain grossly unaware of reputable in person and online sources of child care information, like child care resource and referral agencies in their own communities
- Cost is considered after quality, hours of operation and geographic accessibility, but often ends up being the final determining factor when choosing child care
- Online sources of child care information that families turn to the most are not necessarily the sources they trust
“At Child Care Aware of America® we believe families are children’s most important teachers and relationships throughout a child’s life from home, school and community are pivotal to their wellbeing, academic and lifelong success,” said Kim Engelman, Senior Advisor Child Care Aware® of America. “When you read through this report, you’ll find that the sources families use for child care information when they are seeking a new care arrangement too often do not align with best practice recommendations. We are committed to ensuring all families know where to turn and have the information they need to make the best child care choice for their family.”
CCAoA works with state CCR&R agencies to track the cost of care for children by age and setting, then compares each state’s costs to its median income, ranking the states by affordability for each category of care. Check out this explanatory video on why child care costs so much and yet providers make so little.
To learn more about CCAoA’s efforts visit usa.childcareaware.org. And you can follow the movement for child care on Twitter and Facebook using @childcareaware.
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About Child Care Aware® of America
Child Care Aware® of America is our nation’s leading voice for child care. CCAoA works with state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) and other community partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable child care. CCAoA leads projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, offer comprehensive training to child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate for child care policies that improve the lives of children and families. To learn more, visit usa.childcareaware.org. Follow them on Twitter @USAChildCare and on Facebook at facebook.com/usachildcare.