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CCAoA Symposium to Highlight Ways to Transform Child Care System

By CCAoA on March 29, 2022

Child Care Aware® of America’s 2022 Symposium on May 1-4 in Arlington, Virginia, will bring together Child Care Resource and Referral professionals, child care providers, parents, policymakers, funders and the business community to tackle complex issues and strategize ways to transform the child care system during this pivotal moment. 

Featured speakers will include Indra K. Nooyi, who served as CEO and chairman of PepsiCo from 2006 to 2019 and is one of the world’s most sought-after advisors to entrepreneurs, executives and governments. She is also revered as a role model for women and immigrants, and celebrated for her empowering messages on inclusivity. 

The symposium will also feature Ai-jen Poo, a next-generation labor leader, award-winning organizer, author and a leading voice in the women’s movement. She is the Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Director of Caring Across Generations, Co-Founder of SuperMajority and a Trustee of the Ford Foundation. 

The symposium will include tracks on:  

  • Innovative Programs and Practices 
  • Transforming Child Care Through Data, Research and Policy 
  • The Business of Child Care 
  • Transforming Child Care Into an Equitable System 

It will also include an Advocacy Day, giving participants an opportunity to meet with their elected officials’ offices to share critical on-the-ground perspectives from the child care field that will help inform long-term investments in federal child care funding. 

For more information and to register: https://hubs.li/Q016TVdB0 

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OPINION: We can longer afford to neglect child care providers and our littlest learners

By Lynette Fraga, Ph.D. on March 23, 2022

The Hechinger Report

Op-ed by CCAoA CEO Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D. and Dr. Renée Boynton-Jarrett, a pediatrician and social epidemiologist, an associate professor at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine, and Vice President of CCAoA's Board of Directors.

Who will care for our nation’s children as we seek to recover economically?

Our parents, early learning providers and program administrators are overwhelmed, overburdened and under-resourced, and our kids are feeling the impact. Cumulatively, this puts the mental health of all at stake.

Too many parents also struggle to pay for child care. Children get the care their parents can afford, and the costs rival those of in-state college tuition. All the while, early educators manage the costs of providing care through low wages and strained working conditions. Quality suffers.

We must transform our approach to child care and early childhood education.

Read the full op-ed.

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CCAoA Contributes to Civil Rights Principles for Early Care and Education

By CCAoA on March 11, 2022

Child Care Aware of America joined the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, along with 45 civil rights and education organizations, to release Civil Rights Principles for Early Care and Education on March 9. The principles outline how decision makers at all levels can ensure an education system that offers meaningful equal opportunity and success for all children, especially those who have been historically marginalized.

"CCAoA is proud to have contributed to the development of these Civil Rights Principles for Early Care and Education," said Mario Cardona, CCAoA Chief of Policy and Practice. "They identify fundamental elements of early learning that protect civil rights and advance equity for children, families, staff and providers."

CCAoA is the first organization focused on child care to become a member of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. 

Learn more about the Civil Rights Principles for Early Care and Education.

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Grandparents As First Responders? Makes Sense.

By CCAoA on March 06, 2022

Your Valuable Home (podcast)

There’s a childcare problem across the U.S., which is preventing lots of working moms from going back to work. Are grandparents a partial solution, as they were at the height of the pandemic? Listen in on this vital discussion with Donna Butts, Executive Director of Generations United and Dr. Lynette Fraga, CEO of Child Care Aware of America. Some possible solutions surfaced during this interview.

Listen to the podcast (segment starts at 34:00)

Your Valuable Home

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Child care workers are going hungry: 'We have a dollar store in town and sadly fill up on cheap junk to survive'

By CCAoA on March 06, 2022

USA Today

The growth in child-care prices exceeded the annual rate of inflation in 2020 and 2019, according to a report by Child Care Aware of America, a national nonprofit network of more than 400 agencies to help people access child care.

Inflation, low wages and workforce shortages are making it so that the industry cannot recover and offer pre-pandemic levels of child care to American families, said Mario Cardona, chief of policy and practice at Child Care Aware of America.

"These staff shortages are causing such emotional distress among the existing child care workforce that one in five early educators is considering leaving the child care field entirely," Cardona said.

Read the full article

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A historic child care investment saved centers from collapse. What happens when the money runs out?

By CCAoA on March 03, 2022

The 19th

The funding also came with a big promise to stabilize an industry that was in total collapse. About 1 in 3 child care workers lost their jobs at the onset of the pandemic, and more than 16,000 centers in 37 states had closed permanently by March 2021.

Anne Hedgepeth, the deputy chief of policy at Child Care Aware, a leading child care advocacy organization, said the funding has given states the flexibility to address key pressure points in their child care systems. Most states focused the bulk of their funding on worker retention, bonuses and raising staff pay. But the funding has also gone to make infrastructure and technology upgrades, create training programs, reach families in child care deserts, expand eligibility qualifications for families, lower costs, grow mental health consultation and create scholarships for workers seeking additional education.

“Where we find effective strategies, we’re gonna push every policymaker who will listen to help make those permanent,” Hedgepeth said. “Even resourcing something now will lead to long-term changes [through] just using the evidence that we’re gaining.”

Read the full article

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Child care now costs more than $10,000 per year on average—here’s why that’s a problem

By CCAoA on February 21, 2022

CNBC.com

Child care is getting more expensive than ever, forcing parents to spend an increasingly large portion of their paychecks on it, according to a recent report from Child Care Aware.

The “Demanding Change” report found that the national average annual cost of child care in 2020, the latest data available, was $10,174. That figure represents more than 10% of the median income for a married couple, and more than 35% percent of the median income for a single parent.

“One of the repercussions for parents that we’re starting to see is the exit of women from the workforce,” Child Care Aware senior data analyst Kristina Haynie tells CNBC Make It. “Sometimes it’s just not worth it to work because the money that you’re making is all going toward child care.”

Read the full article

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CCAoA CEO Featured on Actor Wilmer Valderrama's Podcast

By CCAoA on February 15, 2022

Child Care Aware of America CEO Dr. Lynette Fraga was featured on actor Wilmer Valderrama's podcast, Essential Voices, which is about essential workers.  

Dr. Fraga talked about the benefits of early childhood education and bilingual education, and she told new parents Wilmer and Amanda: "You have a degree in loving your child. That's the most important degree to have." 

The podcast episode also features Carolina Reyes, owner and director of the Arco Iris Bilingual Children's Center in Laurel, Maryland, who shared her passion for early childhood education even during the pandemic. 

Listen to the podcast episode.

Essential Voices image

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Child-care costs are outpacing inflation — the average cost of daycare for infants now exceeds in-state college tuition fees

By CCAoA on February 14, 2022

MarketWatch

With inflation at a 40-year high, families are feeling the pinch of higher prices at the grocery store checkout, on their home heating bill, and when they pay rent.

But there’s another expense that’s been growing even faster in recent years: child care. The growth in child-care prices exceeded the annual rate of inflation in 2020 and 2019, according to a new report from Child Care Aware.

The average annual cost of daycare for infants hit just over $12,300 in 2020, an increase of  $1,000 over the prior year. (The report used three different methods to calculate average prices ranging from $12,304 to $12,375.)

Read the full article.

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16,000 Shuttered Child Care Programs Push the Sector Closer to Collapse

By CCAoA on February 14, 2022

EdSurge

Nearly 16,000 child care programs across 37 U.S. states have permanently closed since the pandemic began, representing a 9 percent decline in the total number of licensed child care providers, according to a new report published this month by Child Care Aware of America.

Though perhaps less severe than some of the worst-case scenarios laid out in early 2020, the loss of thousands of providers reflects an ever-worsening crisis in the field of early care and education, accelerated by—but not originating with—the arrival of COVID-19.

These closures are sure to have major effects on everyone touched by the child care industry, says Mario Cardona, Chief of Policy and Practice at Child Care Aware of America, a national membership association that works to improve child care and the early childhood profession and that conducted the survey which was the basis for the new report.

Read the full article

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