This Mother’s Day, let’s give moms and other caregivers an important gift: access to high quality, affordable child care. While high quality child care is a critical component of supporting working parents and giving children a strong start in life, the cost of care is a barrier for many families.
Washington was ranked the sixth least affordable state for center-based infant care and the 10th least affordable state for center-based care for a four-year-old. Put into perspective, a minimum-wage worker in Washington would have to work full time from January to August just to pay for child care for one infant.
The Child Care Development Block Grant provides more than 42,000 children in Washington access to child care—more than the number of children served by ECEAP and Head Start combined. As a result, a significant share of children access high quality early learning through subsidies and quality improvement programs funded in large part by CCDBG. But, unless federal funding for CCDBG is increased, access to early childhood education will shrink, harming children and their families.
Please join us in calling on Washington’s Senators and Representatives to celebrate Mother’s Day by increasing funding for the Child Care Development Block Grant. Expanding access to high quality child care means that more kids will show up to kindergarten ready to learn and more parents will be able to find and keep jobs so they can support their families. And please join a twitter storm for #ChildCareNow on Thursday, May 5 from 11am to noon Pacific Time.
The importance of investing in children can’t be overstated, especially for the children furthest from opportunity. Programs for children aged zero to five offer a much higher return on investment than later interventions. Participation in high quality early childhood education does not just prepare children to succeed in kindergarten; early learning improves educational outcomes for the rest of a child’s life.
Please act now to ask Congress to give an important Mother’s Day gift to families and children.