New Mexico voted a child care guarantee into its constitution. For one mom, it means her 8-year-old doesn’t worry about money anymore

By CCAoA on December 07, 2022



A mom of three, Alicia Fout was going to college and working 30 hours a week but still often struggled to cover the cost of child care.

The high price tag forced her to prioritize which monthly bills to pay, which meant frequent utility shut-off notices – and some extremely difficult decisions.

“I learned which bills I could forgo every other month to keep up with the financial needs of my children,” Fout told CNN. 

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State Legislature Roundup

By CCAoA on November 15, 2022

State Legislature Roundup: Some Wins, but More Support for Child Care is Needed | Exchange Press 


State Leg Roundup Image

States and local communities play a significant role in shaping the policies that determine child care access for families and the quality of available care. This article explores legislation that state and local governments enacted in 2022 to support child care and early learning. These actions are especially important, as the last available federal funding, which has allowed states to implement temporary child care policies, is set to run out by September 24. 

As states spend down their relief funding over the next year, it will be critical to keep advocating for child care and early learning policies at the state level. While some legislative actions have been big policy wins for families, providers, and children, not every state has made bold reforms for child care and early learning. That leaves a patch-work of early learning access across the country. In 2023, we must make child care investments a priority in all state houses and at the federal level.

Follow Lynette Fraga on Twitter @lynette_fraga and Child Care Aware of America @ChildCareAware

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Yes, Inflation is Making Child Care Cost More

By CCAoA on October 20, 2022
No One Is Coming To Save Us | podcast by Lemonada Media 
Gloria calls up Lynette Fraga, CEO of Child Care Aware of America, to unpack the many reasons why America’s child care crisis has only gotten worse over the past year, from inflation to the workforce crisis. Lynette explains why the military’s child care system, famous for its high quality and accessibility, is also struggling right now, with more than 11,000 children under 5 in need of a child care spot urgently. Plus, a story from the No One Is Coming to Save Us community about a new mom looking for infant care before her first ultrasound.

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The child care crisis just keeps getting worse

By CCAoA on September 27, 2022


On the Senate floor in early August, just two days before lawmakers voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, four senior Democrats came out to lament what they believed to be the bill’s biggest omission: child care.

“We cannot simply vote on this package and call it a day,” Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) said. “Our child care system isn’t just stretched thin; it is broken.”

Less than two months later, the extent of that brokenness is clearer than ever. Public schools are fully reopened, and most pandemic-era restrictions are relaxed. But working conditions for families with kids who need child care are not back to normal. For both workers and parents, already-grim trends in child care have only gotten worse since the pandemic began: program costs have increased, while waiting lists in several states number in the tens of thousands.

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Child Care Aware® of America CEO Resignation Announcement

By CCAoA on August 16, 2022

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) today announced that Chief Executive Officer Dr. Lynette M. Fraga is leaving the organization early in 2023.  

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CCAoA Statement on the Inflation Reduction Act

By CCAoA on July 28, 2022

CCAoA is frustrated and disappointed with the news that the Senate may soon consider a budget reconciliation package, the Inflation Reduction Act, that includes no funding for child care and early learning. There is still time left for Congress to right this wrong. 

For months, child care programs, system leaders, families and businesses have shared countless stories of the longstanding challenges the sector faces. Their messages are the same: the status quo of low compensation for educators and high prices for families is unacceptable. The child care system can only move toward thriving in the future with robust public investment.  

The news that a budget reconciliation bill committed to inflation reduction, as its name implies, is slated to move forward without tackling the high prices families face for child care is alarming. As CCAoA research shows, in three out of four regions of the U.S., the annual price of center-based child care for an infant exceeds the cost of housing. In all four regions, child care exceeds the annual cost of in‑state tuition at a public four‑year university. If Congress’ main concern is helping families deal with rising costs, nothing could be more important than investments that help reduce the high price of child care. 

CCAoA believes this is also an issue of equity. As we consider the impact of the pandemic on women, who still make up all net labor force leavers since February 2020, it is unacceptable for Congress to continue to make policy choices that leave them behind. 

Before voting on the Inflation Reduction Act, CCAoA implores Congress to include significant, sustained funding for the child care and early learning system. 

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JOINT STATEMENT: Senate Must Make Good on Promise to Solve Child Care Crisis

By CCAoA on July 18, 2022

In response to movement on a reconciliation package framework that excludes any funding
for child care and early learning, 24 prominent national organizations issued the following
statement calling on Congressional Leaders to reverse course and provide funding to address
America’s ever-worsening child care crisis:

At a moment when Americans are struggling just to get by amid the worst inflation in decades,
the Senate is moving forward with a reconciliation framework that excludes any investment to
address the largest financial burden facing millions of families: child care. America’s early
learning system, which was already failing to meet the needs of families and providers before
the pandemic, is currently being propped up by federal relief funding that will soon expire,
putting the future of our nation’s child care in jeopardy. Any reconciliation package that comes
before Congress for a vote must include significant, sustained funding to prevent the collapse of
our child care and early learning system and make quality care options available and affordable
for more families.

For the past two years, there has been clear acknowledgement from lawmakers and voters
alike that Congress must invest in building a system of early learning and care that meets the
needs of families, young children, and the providers they rely on. President Biden and
Democratic Leaders in the House and Senate touted early learning and care as foundational to
supporting America’s workforce and in turn, our nation's economic recovery and long-term
success, which was backed up by a proposed transformational investment in child care, pre-K,
and Head Start in the Build Back Better Act. It is unimaginable, then, that the Senate would
move forward with a package that does not include a single penny to ensure child care is
available and accessible in every zip code across the country. Women, in particular, will bear the
burden of Congress’s inaction, preventing countless moms from pursuing economic security —
let alone economic success.

Indeed, failure to include child care investments in reconciliation will not only be a missed
opportunity to immediately lower costs for families; it pushes the nation’s early learning system
closer to a catastrophic funding cliff that will affect America’s entire economy, resulting in higher
prices and longer waitlists for families and reduced access to quality care for children, while
lower wages push more early educators out of the field. There is no doubt that lawmakers
understand that the positive impact of investing in early learning and care would be felt for
generations. So too, will the consequences of inaction. As Congressional Leaders turn this
framework into a legislative package, they must add back in a meaningful portion of the original
child care and early learning funding that were eliminated, and come together through any
means possible to provide the substantive investments that are desperately needed.

Organizations: America Forward, Bank Street Education Center, CareForAllChildren, Center for
Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Child Care Aware of America, Council for a Strong America
(CSA), Early Care and Education Consortium (ECE), Early Learning Ventures (ELV),Educare
Learning Network, First Five Years Fund (FFYF), First Focus Campaign for Children, Futures
Without Violence, Imaginable Futures, LEGO Systems, Inc.,Main Street Alliance (MSA),
MomsRising, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), National Head
Start Association (NHSA), National Women's Law Center (NWLC), Save the Children, Save the
Children Action Network, Start Early, The Century Foundation, ZERO TO THREE

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As vaccines for younger U.S. children roll out, the effects on day care centers may be muted.

By CCAoA on June 30, 2022

New York Times

“We expect there to be an initial rush, where 20 percent of parents will get vaccinated in the next couple of weeks,” said Nikki Garro, the director of early childhood health programs at Child Care Aware, a national child care advocacy organization. “Then it will be a slow trickle.”

It is unlikely that day care providers or early childhood centers would mandate coronavirus vaccinations, she said, as only seven states require flu shots for child care and pre-K programs. But every state requires the measles, mumps and rubella inoculation before child care enrollment.

“We want to be sure to support programs because parents may have questions and also ensure that the adults too, who have not received their booster shot, still recognize that is an important part of reducing the spread,” Ms. Garro said. “Also, children under 6 months who are in child care will still not have access to vaccines, so we need to protect the youngest children.”

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Families and child care providers struggle with high costs

By CCAoA on May 15, 2022

Matter of Fact with Soledad O'Brien

For many American families, paying for child care is expensive, but necessary. On the other end, child care providers struggle with thin margins after paying staff, food and facility costs.

CCAoA CEO Dr. Lynette Fraga spoke with Laura Chavez about the child care crisis: “The first part we need to address to come to a solution is to ensure we are aware and we acknowledge that child care is an issue everyone needs to focus on.”

Chavez also visits Clinton, Mississippi to see how one family and and a child care owner are working to close those gaps.

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New Mexico to offer a year of free child care to most residents

By CCAoA on April 29, 2022

Washington Post

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) announced Thursday that New Mexico will cover the costs of child care for most residents through June 2023. The benefit, which covers families earning up to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, makes New Mexico the first state to offer no-cost care to such a broad range of incomes, officials said.

Mario Cardona, the chief of policy and practice for Child Care Aware of America, a nonprofit that advocates for affordable child care, called the announcement “the type of thing that we should be seeing across the country.”

Though other states, including Georgia, Virginia and Kansas, have expanded eligibility and made child care more affordable during the pandemic, none have gone as far as New Mexico, which has committed a historic and unusual amount of resources to the sector, Cardona said. Other states have largely relied on federal relief from the Cares Act and the American Rescue Plan to pay for child-care improvements, but the last of those dollars expires in 2024 and lawmakers may be hesitant, Cardona said, to roll out new programs using temporary money.

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