Where we are now and where we want to go…
The Child Care Council supports quality early care and learning.
The Council supports the recommendations of Child Care Aware of America to reauthorize and strengthen Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), increase the CCDBG quality set-aside, require accountability for CCDBG funds, ensure affordable child care for families, strengthen rural child care, limit potentially unsafe license-exempt care, and make child care part of disaster planning.
QUALITYstarsNY will be a voluntary quality rating and improvement system designed to increase quality in child care centers, family child care, and schools and support these early care and learning programs. It will empower parents to be knowledgeable in choosing high quality programs and providers for their children; it will enable policymakers to implement policies proven to increase quality; promote accountability so legislators, taxpayers and other funders feel confident investing in quality; give providers a roadmap to quality improvement; and improve the chances of a child attending a high-quality early care and education program. (http://qualitystarsny.org/index.php?pg=FAQ)
Children deserve the best care. From a recent study it was found that “only 55 percent of family child care providers and 57 percent of center assistants have at least some college education.” (http://www.naccrra.org/randd/child-care-workforce/cc_workforce.php )Child care providers need to pursue professional development. Child care providers are among the lowest paid workers and our state does recognize this; it has set aside limited funding to help providers meet their required training requirements and pursue some professional development. The Council also seeks funding to encourage and ensure child care providers continue to further their education. We need a highly qualified work force to deliver the best care for our children.
At this time, Council has limited state funds to help child care programs with technical assistance & professional development and new programs with startup costs. Contact us at (845)294-4012 x225 or 222 to either schedule a technical assistance visit or to find out more.
The Child Care Council of Orange County Inc. knows that child care can be expensive.
In 36 states, the average annual cost for center-based care for an infant was higher than a year’s tuition and related fees at a four-year public college. (http://www.naccrra.org/publications/naccrra-publications/parents-and-high-cost-of-child-care-2011.php ) As a result, parents struggle to provide care for their child(ren). Some parents have decided to work different shifts or use relatives or friends and not use regulated child care. However, the Council feels that children may do best in regulated child care. Regulated programs meet health and safety standards set by the state in order to open; regulated providers need to meet a required number of training hours and topics; regulated programs are inspected biannually.
Through a grant from United Way the Council has received funds to be made available to help working parents who are not income eligible for child care subsidies. Parents should contact their provider or the Council for more information. We are seeking additional funding to assist parents who are in need of financial assistance for child care. We ask you to send your donations to the Council so we can keep this funding going.
Child Care Costs Rise While Families Fight to Recover from Economic Downturn
By Stephanie Schmit
The recession may officially be over, but families are still feeling the effects of the downturned economy. One challenge many parents face is the rising cost of child care, which is often one of the costliest items in a family budget. In 2011, child care costs exceeded 10 percent of the median household income for a two-parent family in 40 states and the District of Columbia, according Child Care Aware (formerly the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies, or NACCRRA), which released the latest update in its ongoing research on the cost of care, Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2012 Report.
The annual report, which looks at how much parents in every state pay for young children to be in a variety of care settings, found that the average annual cost of center-based care for an infant ranged from $4,600 to $15,000 per year across states, up 2 percent over 2010, and the average cost of center-based care for a 4-year-old child ranged from $3,900 to $11,700, up 4.2 percent over 2010. These high costs rival families' spending on food, rent, and mortgage payments. In 35 states, the average annual cost of child care exceeds state college tuition.
Child care assistance makes quality child care more affordable, supports the healthy development of children, and helps low-income parents access the child care they need to go to work or to school so that they can support their families. The sequester has the potential to dramatically impact many programs critical to young children. According to estimates, 80,000 fewer children could receive child care subsidies if Congress doesn't act soon to craft another deal to avoid the looming spending cuts
Parents are working to stress the importance of child care assistance, including participation in a recent Senate hearing, and ongoing advocacy at the state and federal level. Meanwhile, the House recently marked up its Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill, which proposed increased funding of $25 million for the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Although this bill is just the first step in a long federal appropriations process and would not offset the negative effects of the sequester, it indicates policymakers' understanding of the need for increased child care funding and the importance of these programs for states, local communities, and families.
As the budget and appropriations process advances, CLASP will continue to urge Congress to do what's right for the many working parents who rely on child care subsidies to go to work, and for their children who need the foundation that quality care provides.