The Struggle for High-Quality Care
With infant care costing over $1,000 a month, child care can be a family’s biggest expense. Yet child care providers often live in poverty. Why?
Child care is very labor-intensive. Wages stay low because families can’t pay more. The gap between what it costs to provide high-quality care and what families can afford is worsened by low child care subsidies. Learn what Child Care Aware of Washington is focusing on right now to sustain and strengthen our child care system – English, Spanish.
In Washington state, subsidies cover only about a third of the cost of a high-quality program. Learn more about how low state reimbursement rates affect child care.
Learn why high-quality child care matters with this video.
Writing to Legislators
Finding Contact Information
Writing Effective Letters
Want to reach out to your legislators but don’t know where to start? Our 3-step guide shows you how!
The Washington Legislature has a handy tool for finding the contact information of your representatives.
- Enter your address
- Look for your district number
- Click on the name of your legislators
- Their phone number, email, and mailing address should appear
Expanding Assistance for Working Families
Providing Financial Support to Child Care Providers
Protecting Existing Investments
The Importance of ECE Scholarships
Facts and figures about the impact that expanding assistance for working parents will have on Washington’s children and economy.
If child care is so expensive, then why do providers need financial relief? It’s a complicated topic, so learn more about why financial support for early learning is not only necessary, but also benefits all of us across the state.
One of our biggest legislative priorities is ensuring that Washington expands assistance for early learning, not reduce it. Before speaking to legislators, read more about why protecting critical investments is essential.
State Legislative Session
The 2023 Legislative Session begins on January 9th, 2023.We will have updates soon regarding our advocacy priorities and how you can be an active advocate for early learning in the coming year.
2022 Legislative Priorities
Reduce barriers to workforce recruitment
Fund child care mental health consultation support
Expand facilitated play & learn groups for Family Friend & Neighbor caregivers
- Decrease the time it takes to complete the state child care background check process
- Fund data collection on transitional kindergarten
- Provide additional care for families traumatized by the pandemic
- Expand supports for children being unjustly held back from success due to structural racism, socio-economic barriers, or other systemic injustices in their community
- We are calling for $185,000 in ongoing investments
- Many children are cared for by family members, friends, or neighbors (FFNs). Facilitated, evidenced-based play and learn groups provide quality early learning opportunities to thousands of children in FFN care who are not enrolled in formal early learning programs either by family choice, or lack of access, or affordability barriers. Increasing access to play and learn groups can help move Washington closer to its goal to have 90% of children ready for kindergarten when they enter, and support the needs of families and caregivers.
- To learn more about our multi-year strategy to connect families with expanded Play and Learn Groups in their communities, click here.
- We care calling for $3.1 million in ongoing investments
- Take Action! Advocate for increased Family, Friend and Neighbor support on social media (English/Spanish) or by writing to your legislators (English/Spanish).
What You Can Do
It is never too early or too late to let your legislators know you support state investment in high-quality child care and Early Achievers, and in increasing the reimbursement rates paid to providers who accept children on state subsidies/Working Connections Child Care.
Child Care Aware of Washington provides thorough and independent information for effective policy making.
- Five Numbers to Remember About Early Childhood Development: https://developingchild.harvard.edu/.
- National Institutes of Health “The Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development,” https://www.nichd.nih.gov/research/supported/seccyd/
- First Five Years Fund Invest in Us Report 1. National Institutes of Health “The Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development,” https://www.nichd.nih.gov/research/supported/seccyd/
- High Scope Perry Preschool Study Through Age 4: https://highscope.org/perrypreschoolstudy/