CCAoA Supports Mask Wearing in Child Care Settings to Protect Children and Adults

By CCAoA on August 16, 2021

Child Care Aware® of America supports the use of face masks in child care settings for adults and children ages 2 and older regardless of vaccination status. This should continue to be part of a comprehensive strategy to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of children and adults.  

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “face masks can be safely worn by all children 2 years of age and older, including the vast majority of children with underlying health conditions, with rare exception. Children 2 years of age and older have demonstrated their ability to wear a face mask. In addition to protecting the child, the use of face masks significantly reduces the spread of [COVID-19] and other respiratory infections within schools and other community settings.” 

Child care providers know what safety measures to take to keep children safe, including disinfecting, handwashing, mask wearing, symptom screening, social distancing, improving ventilation and limiting group sizes. Certain prevention measures may be limited by size of the center/home (and ability to social distance) or air ventilation system, and may be beyond the control of the provider, but wearing masks is safe and inexpensive. There may also be opportunities for children to safely unmask during the day, such as when they are outside or eating while taking other precautions. 

Given recent concerns about the Delta variant, wearing masks is important to protect children, caregivers and the community at large. It is particularly important given that children under the age of 12 do not yet have access to the vaccine. And we have seen states, such as Delaware, Kentucky, Illinois, and California, take steps to ensure masking takes place in child care facilities.  

“Child care providers have gone to heroic lengths during the pandemic to ensure the health and safety of children, families and staff," said Lynette M. Fraga, Ph.D., CEO of Child Care Aware® of America. “We must continue to encourage all adults and children age two and up to wear masks in child care facilities as a part of mitigation efforts.”  

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CCAoA Statement on Senate Passage of Budget Reconciliation Framework

By Mario Cardona on August 11, 2021

Mario Cardona, Child Care Aware® of America’s Chief of Policy and Practice, released the following statement in response to Senate-passage of an FY22 Budget Resolution:

The Senate’s vote today paves the way for Congress to make much needed, long-term investments in child care. While this is only the first step in the budget reconciliation process, it moves us towards a comprehensive package that prioritizes the needs of families and communities.  

Now is the time to act boldly – Congress must move forward with the Senate’s full proposal, no less, and they must ensure child care and preschool funding are a priority in that package. This past year reaffirmed that child care is the work that makes all other work possible. Yet, families continue to grapple with pre-pandemic issues of affordability and accessibility, hampering their ability to return to work and impacting their children's opportunities for growth and development. 

Congress must change this dynamic through sustained, long-term funding for early learning. CCAoA urges lawmakers to use the reconciliation process to make significant investments in child care and preschool so that we can grow an affordable, accessible, and equitable child care system that values the work of caregivers, promotes children’s healthy development, and supports working families. 

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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/ 

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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.’” 

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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. 

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Congress Reintroduces Legislation to Invest in the Future of Child Care

By CCAoA on April 22, 2021

Mario Cardona, Child Care Aware® of America’s Chief of Policy and Practice, released the following statement in response to the reintroduction of the Child Care for Working Families Act: 

"The Child Care for Working Families Act would make progress toward solving some of the most critical challenges facing the child care system today, and Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) is pleased to support the bill as it is reintroduced. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Bobby Scott (D-VA) are true champions for our children, families, providers and communities across the country. 

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CCAoA Collaborates with The WIT Project to Improve Website and Provide Real-World Experience for Women STEM Students

By CCAoA on April 19, 2021

Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) and the <wit> project are collaborating on a four-month project to improve CCAoA's ability to quickly add content and resources to its website. The <wit> project team consists of six women science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) students from the City University of New York (CUNY) who are working in partnership with CCAoA IT staff. This is the first experience for many of the students in working hands-on with code that has an end user.  

The <wit> project supports women from underrepresented communities to succeed in tech careers, provides hands-on learning experiences to STEM students, and helps nonprofits access technology solutions  

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

By CCAoA on March 31, 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 Jobs Plan: 

“We agree with President Biden that investment in the facilities and the supply of the child care system is needed as we work to build back from the pandemic. Our economy requires the infrastructure of a sustainable, equitable, high-quality child care and early learning system in which children, families, and educators thrive. 

The $25 billion Child Care Growth and Innovation Fund and the $45 billion for grants to reduce lead exposure in homes, schools, and child care facilities, are an investment in the safe and healthy development of children and in our child care system. Investing in a stronger child care system today helps build the foundation children need to thrive in the future. 

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CCAoA Statement in Support of AAPI Community

By CCAoA on March 19, 2021

We mourn the recent acts of violence in Atlanta and reaffirm our solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues, family members, friends and community members, and we condemn the violence and racism directed at them. 
 
We realize that the murders perpetrated in Atlanta are the latest in a long history of violence and discrimination against the AAPI community. Discrimination, prejudice and racism have no place in our country or our child care system – which relies on the work of women, particularly women of color and women from immigrant communities. We are committed to reversing the structural and institutional racism, poverty and lack of opportunity that exist in the United States.  

Equity and anti-racism will continue to be at the center of our work to support all children and families.   

Additional Resources: 

Whether children have witnessed a violent event, or have seen coverage of events in the news, it is important for parents and caregivers to be ready to help and talk about their feelings. Visit our page for resources to help children understand and cope after facing traumatic events, including a white paper that outlines what stress may look like in children younger than five years old (also available in Spanish).

You may also be interested in our three-part webinar series on racial justice and equity in the child care system  in which we discuss how we can create an equitable system that supports providers, children and families. 

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CCAoA Statement in Response to Congress Passing American Rescue Plan

By CCAoA on March 10, 2021

Today, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package with $39 billion in child care relief funding. The $39 billion in dedicated child care funding provides $15 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) and $24 billion for a child care stabilization fund. 

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