At the Resource Center, we’re tuned in to the action at the General Assembly, our state’s legislature, where their decisions about budgets and child care policy details will impact our community. We’re glad to work with great partners like Maryland Family Network and a coalition of child care advocates to connect policy to real life practice. We’re testifying at hearings, sharing input with legislators and urging our community to contact Representatives and Senators. The child care community is fortunate to have an extremely knowledgeable and effective advocate in Clinton Macsherry working with us in Annapolis.
Did you know that ideas, proposals and decisions at the federal level matter to child care and early education as well?
Every year, Congress determines funding levels for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Head Start and Early Head Start, and Preschool Development Grants (Maryland is a grantee) and other programs that matter to children, families and the priorities of the Resource Center.
That process is just getting under way. It begins with a proposal from the Administration, once again early care and education is a big priority! Thanks to our partners at Child Care Aware of America for this blog post and to our partners at the National Association for Family Child Care for this summary fact sheet of the proposals. Congress does the detail work and the final decisions on funding amounts for programs. With a new federal child care law on the books, attention turns to the states for how to comply and best meet the needs of children and families. And we must advocate for additional federal funds, state funds, and local funds, to make the program successful.
We also have a new exciting proposal, and a great way to talk about child care with our federal legislators: the Child C.A.R.E. Act!
The Child C.A.R.E. Act (the letters stand for Child Care Access to Resources for Early-learning) – introduced by Senator Casey (D-PA) and Representatives Crowley (D-NY) and Frankel (D-FL) calls for new investments in the Child Care and Development Block Grant that would:
• ensure families with children under the age of four who are living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level can access high-quality child care through the subsidy program;
• ensure that CCDBG provider payment rates are set at a level high enough to support quality child care and to fairly compensate providers;
• assist child care providers in moving forward on a pathway that invests in strengthening their skills, knowledge, and practice.
Here’s a blog post from Child Care Aware of America on the introduction of the legislation and they also offer this easy way to ask our federal Senators and Representatives to support the proposal! The Administration for Children and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services shared this blog post from Linda Smith.
This is an exciting time – and also a challenging time. We have growing unmet need and the evidence is clear that what happens in the early years impacts a lifetime. We look forward to lots of opportunities ahead to make the case about the importance of early care and education in Prince George’s County, across Maryland, and across the country.
Thanks to the advocates at Child Care Aware of America, National Association for Family Child Care, National Association for the Education of Young Children and others for keeping us connected to this important work!
Posted on 3/17/2016