It's Working! The voices of early care and education advocates are being heard! More importantly, action is being taken.
Child care was back in the news this week. You may have heard that Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed the “Universal Child Care and Early Learning Act;” and Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Bobby Scott reintroduced the Child Care for Working Families Act (CCWFA).
The former calls for a system where parents, earning no more than twice the poverty line (currently $24,600 for a family of 4) can avail themselves of child care while simultaneously addressing the need to improve the quality of care and addressing the low wages of child care workers..
The latter is a legislative bill which would, according to Child Care Aware of America (the national organization of child care resource and referral agencies), allow “(F)amilies with children ages 12 and under afford high-quality, flexible child care, as well as after-school and summer care. Under the CCWFA, families earning up to 150 percent of their respective state median income (SMI) would be eligible for assistance and would spend no more than 7 percent of their income on child care, no matter how many children they have.”
Building on the incredible investment made in early care and education in the last Congressional session, including a $2.37 billion increase to the Child Care and Development Block Grant, investments in the new Preschool Development Grants Birth through Five, and continued investments in Early Head Start – Child Care Partnership grants, these proposals are opportunities to make great strides for our child and their families, to ensure our next generations get the same quality start to life.
Now is the time to speak up and to keep early care and education on the minds of lawmakers and stakeholders. As an advocate, I am thrilled the media is stimulating the national discourse. Let’s keep talking about what quality early care and education looks like, what ensuring a livable wage looks like, the decisions parents have to make in order to get to school or work. Let’s keep Tweeting, posting, and sharing. Let’s keep advocating!