June 5, 2020

Eradicating Racism is Long Overdue

We at Child Care Aware of Washington are outraged at the murder of George Floyd and denounce the actions of the Minneapolis police officers. We are angry that many peaceful protests against injustice have been marred by further police brutality and we condemn the continued use of violence on people of color.

Child Care Aware of Washington stands with families of color who face the long-lingering impacts of racism and police brutality, and each and every family who opposes white supremacy in all its forms. We remain committed to ensuring that all children and families, especially those who are furthest from opportunity because of systemized racism, have access to equitable, quality child care and early learning programs that shrink the opportunity gap and lead to families thriving economically.

Racism harms all children, mostly and inequitably, children of color. As an organization, we envision a world where children do not experience police brutality against black men as the norm. Institutional racism is unacceptable, has persisted for far too long and we must act. Child Care Aware of Washington pledges to examine our organization and our work and reflect on the ways we contribute to racism and the ways in which we must change. We commit to take action, share our plan with those we serve – families, child care providers, informal caregivers and our partners – and to be held accountable for our progress.

As a first step, we have posted resources for how families and providers can talk with their children about racism. We anticipate building a plan that connects people with community forums, makes space for race-equity conversations, offers advocacy activities and challenges the systems in which we operate. As we build our racial equity action framework we invite you to provide input, share community resources, share your perspectives and join us.

We thank each individual, organization and system who stands with us to say “No More,”, examines their biases and takes action against injustice. Children need our leadership, humility, compassion, honesty, courage and urgency now and always. Eradicating racism is long overdue.

¡Ya no podemos atrasar la erradicación del racismo!

Nosotros en Child Care Aware of Washington estamos indignados sobre el asesinato de George Floyd y denunciamos las acciones de los oficiales policiacos de Minneapolis. Estamos enfurecidos que tantas protestas pacíficas han sido estropeadas por brutalidad policiaca adicional y condenamos el uso continuo de la violencia en contra de gente de color.

Child Care Aware of Washington se alinea con las familias de color que enfrentan los impactos restantes del racismo y la brutalidad policiaca. También nos alineamos con cada familia que está en contra de todas formas de la supremacía de la raza blanca. Nosotros mantenemos nuestro compromiso que todos los niños y todas las familias, especialmente aquellos más lejos de oportunidades a causa del racismo sistemático, tengan acceso a cuidado infantil equitativo y de calidad. Es de suma importancia que los programas del aprendizaje a temprana edad disminuyan las barreras que impiden que los niños y las familias prosperen económicamente.

El racismo daña a todos los niños, especialmente a los niños afroamericanos, latinos, e indígenas. Desde nuestro punto de vista, anhelamos un mundo donde los niños no crezcan con la brutalidad policiaca en contra de la gente negra como lo típico. El racismo institucional es inaceptable y ha continuado por demasiado tiempo; debemos actuar. Child Care Aware of Washington se compromete a examinar nuestra organización y nuestro trabajo para reflejar en las maneras que contribuimos al racismo y cómo podemos eliminar esa contribución. Estamos dedicados a tomar acción, a compartir nuestro plan con aquellos que rendimos servicios – familias y todos los que proveen cuidado infantil y nuestros socios – para poder ser responsables en nuestros logros.

Como primeros pasos, hemos compartido recursos para ayudar a las familias y los proveedores hablar con los niños sobre el racismo. Apoyamos las conversaciones comunitarias y queremos crear oportunidades para conversar más sobre la equidad racial y coordinar actividades para abogacía. Los invitamos a contribuir a la creación de nuestra visión para la equidad racial en todas las áreas que participan en la educación a la temprana edad.

Queremos rendir agradecimiento a todos los individuales, las organizaciones, y los sistemas que se unen a nosotros a proclamar “no más” y en examinar sus prejuicios y tomar acción en contra de las injusticias. Los niños necesitan nuestro liderazgo, humildad, compasión, honestidad, valor, y urgencia, ahora y siempre. ¡Ya no podemos atrasar la erradicación del racismo!

Ciribtirka cunsuriyada waa waqti hore

Anaga oo ah ‘Child Care Aware of Washington’ waxaan ka xunahay dilkii George Floyd oo aan cambaareyneynaa ficilada saraakiisha booliiska Minneapolis. Waxaan ka xanaaqsanahay in mudaaharaadyo badan oo nabadeed oo looga soo horjeedey caddaalad darradu ay ku kaceen naxariisdarrooyin boolis oo dheeri ah waxaanna dhalleeceyneynaa sii wadida adeegsiga rabshadaha ee dadka midabka leh.

Ogeysiiska Daryeelka Ilmaha ee Washington wuxuu la taagan yahay qoysaska midabka leh ee wajahaya saameynta muddada dheer ee cunsuriyadda iyo naxariisdarrada booliiska, iyo qoys kasta oo ka soo horjeedaa sarreynta caddaanka nooc kasta ha noqotee. Waxaa naga go’an inaan hubinno in dhammaan carruurta iyo qoysaska, gaar ahaan kuwa sida ugu dhakhsaha badan uga fursad badan sababa la xiriira cunsuriyadda nidaamsan, ay u helaan helitaan caddaalad ah, daryeel carruureed oo tayo leh iyo barnaamijyada waxbarashada hore ee wiiqaya fursadda farqiga u horseedaya qoysaska inay dhaqaale ahaan ku kobcaan.

Midab-takoorku wuxuu waxyeelleeyaa carruurta oo dhan, badiyaa iyo sinnaan la’aanta, carruurta midabka leh. Urur ahaan, waxaan u aragnaa adduunyo carruurtu aysan la kulmin naxariisdarrada bilayska ee ka dhanka ah ragga madow sida caadiga ah. Midab-takoorka hay’addu waa mid aan la aqbali karin, muddo aad u dheerina waa inaanu tallaabo qaadnaa. Ogeysiiska Daryeelka Ilmaha ee Washington wuxuu ballan qaadayaa inuu baaro ururkeena iyo shaqadeena oo aan ka fekero qaababka aan ugu biirino cunsuriyadda iyo siyaabaha aan u baddali karno. Waxaa naga go’an in aan tallaabo qaadno, oo aan la wadaagno qorshayaasha kuwa aan u adeegno – qoysaska, daryeelayaasha carruurta, daryeel-bixiyeyaasha aan rasmiga ahayn iyo la-hawlgalayaashayada – oo lagula xisaabtamo horumarka aan sameyno.

Tallaabada koowaad, waxaan soo daabacnay ilo sida qoysaska iyo adeeg bixiyeyaasha ay carruurtooda ugala hadli karaan cunsuriyadda. Waxaan rajeyneynaa inaan dhisno qorshe isku xira dadka kulannada bulshada, oo u yeelno meel loogu talagalay wada-hadallada sinnaanta, wuxuu bixiyaa waxqabadyo u doodid iyo caqabado nidaamyada aan ku shaqeyno. Sida aan u dhisi karno qaab-dhismeedka waxqabadka sinnaanta waxaan kugula casuumeynaa inaad dhiibto ra’yi, wadaagto ilaha bulshada, wadaagto aragtidaada oo aad nagu soo biirto.

Waxaan u mahadcelineynaa shaqsi kasta, hay’ad iyo nidaam na garab taagan inuu dhaho “Maya More”, wuxuu baaraa eexyadooda wuxuuna tilaabo ka qaadayaa cadaalad darida. Carruurtu waxay u baahan yihiin hoggaankeena, is-hoosaysiinta, naxariis, daacadnimada, geesinimada iyo deg-degga hadda iyo had iyo goorba. Ciribtirka cunsuriyada waa waqti hore.

March 13, 2020

COVID-19 – What Can Child Care Providers Do?

The COVID-19 situation is changing daily. Child Care Aware of Washington is here to support you and the children and families you serve.

K-12 school and workplace closures are impacting children, families and providers. Our Family Center is tracking both provider closures and openings so we can provide accurate referrals to families seeking care. Call 1-800-446-1114 if:

  • Your child care facility closes.
  • Your child care facility has openings. You will be asked about the age(s) you can serve and whether you take Working Connections Child Care subsidy.

Our Family Center is fully staffed and operational. We are ready to assist you and any families that call us seeking care.

Here are some good resources and potential financial supports that can help child care small businesses.

State

Child care grants for open programs in Washington – Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families

Washington State Unemployment Benefits and Paid Leave – COVID-19 benefits for businesses and employees

Layoff assistance – Employment Security Department

Unemployment benefits for employees and relief of benefit charges for employers – additional supports for small businesses

Washington Health Plan Finder – New health insurance available for those without it during a special COVID-19 open enrollment period through May 8, 2020

COVID-19 Paid Family and Medical Leave – Employment Security Department

Washington Business Relief During COVID-19 Pandemic – Washington State Department of Revenue

Grants for small businesses – Washington State Department of Commerce

Possible deferred business taxes and waivers of penalties for businesses affected by COVID-19

Governor’s list of business resources for businesses affected by COVID-19

Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families – COVID-19 Updates – answers to questions regarding subsidy payments, ECEAP needs and more

Washington State Coronavirus Response – multiple state resources, links, information and more

Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction – information about school closures

Washington Governor Inslee’s Office – latest updates, resources and information regarding disease spread, official instructions and closures

COVID-19 Impacts on Insurance – Office of the Insurance Commissioner

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants – OneAmerica

Business supports and resources – Association of Washington Business

Small, emergency cash payments to those not eligible for other programs – Department of Social and Health Services

Local

Seattle King County Public Health – Recommendations and Implications for K-12 Schools and Child Care

National

Interim Guidance for Child Care Programs – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Guía interina para los administradores de programas de cuidados infantiles – Centros para el control y la prevención de enfermedades

American Academy of Pediatrics Guidance on operating child care programs during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans – U.S. Small Business Administration

Paycheck Protection Program – U.S. Small Business Administration

Low-interest loans for small businesses – U.S. Small Business Administration

Guide and checklist for applying for Small Business Administration loans – U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Business for All grants – partnership with Verizon

COVID-19 Recovery Fund – Verizon and Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Coronavirus Tax Relief – Internal Revenue Service

Advice for Nonprofits – Nonprofit Quarterly

How to Talk to Children About COVID-19

NPR

PBS Kids

Information About Racial Disparities and COVID-19

Seattle King County Public Health Data

January 9, 2020

Focus on Child Care as an Economic Necessity

CCA of WA’s new CEO Deeann Puffert recently participated in a Puget Sound Business Journal Thought Leader conversation in Seattle about the importance of child care to our economy. The event also featured former state representative Kristine Reeves (who championed child care in the state legislature and is now running for Congress in the 10th District), Amy Anderson, government affairs director at the Association of Washington Business, and Jasmine Donovan, president of Dick’s Drive-In.

Thought Leader Forums are designed to increase awareness of important business and economic issues. The child care event focused on Washington’s child care crisis and on ways to solve it. It is clear that Washington’s employers have a key role to play in helping increase the supply of licensed child care, and they are beginning to realize how the child care crisis is directly impacting their bottom lines. We extend our thanks to the Puget Sound Business Journal for focusing on this important economic issue.

Washington employers interested in making a difference for their employees who are parents, and for their next generation of employees, can visit the Employers section of our website here https://childcareawarewa.org/employers/ for ideas on what to do.

October 23, 2019

Washington State On Top 10 List of Least Affordable Child Care – Again

TACOMA, WA – Oct. 23, 2019 – Washington has some of the least affordable child care in the country, ranking among the top 10 states for least affordable child care when median costs are compared to median incomes. Our state ranks as the second least affordable for care of an infant in a family home child care program, and sixth least affordable for infant care in a center. Washington ranks as the fifth least affordable state for child care for a toddler in a family home program and ninth for that care in a center. For care of a four-year-old, Washington ranks as the seventh least affordable for family home care and 10th least affordable for that care in a center. The rankings come from the newly released report “The U.S. and the High Price of Child Care, an Examination of a Broken System” from Child Care Aware of America.

This is the seventh straight year Washington has ranked on the top 10 list of states with the least affordable child care. Parents across Washington are struggling to afford child care when they can find it. A year of child care often costs more than a year’s tuition at public colleges, and some areas of the state have experienced significant reductions in licensed child care capacity. Most areas have scarce capacity for infant and toddler care. Waitlists of a year or more are common.

“We have not invested in our child care system at a level sufficient to meet demand. Clearly more investment is needed at the state and federal levels, and from the business community, which directly benefits from child care every day when working parents show up for work on time and ready to be productive,” said Ryan Pricco, director of policy and advocacy at Child Care Aware of Washington.

Washington’s child care crisis is costing businesses more than $2 billion each year in employee turnover and missed work due to child care issues, according to a new report from the Child Care Collaborative Task Force, “The Mounting Costs of Child Care.” It found the total cost to our state’s economy exceeds $6.5 billion annually. With the unemployment rate at a historical low, employers are increasingly operating with fewer employees than they need. Increased access to high-quality, affordable child care would allow more parents to enter and remain in the workforce, while simultaneously reducing some of the overall economic impact found in the Mounting Costs of Child Care report. It also would provide crucial early learning to children ages 0-5, the time when 90 percent of their brains develop.

Overall, the cost of child care compared to family income has risen during the past eight years. Since 2011, median household income has increased 18 percent, while median child care rates have increased between 19-22 percent for center-based care and 14-221 percent for family child care.2  Meanwhile the reimbursement rates the state pays to providers who accept children whose families use child care subsidies have not kept pace. Despite recent increases in these rates, the cost to provide quality child care continues to exceed the reimbursements providers receive for providing care for our most vulnerable children and families. For this reason, many providers accept only a few children at a time on subsidy, or none at all. This further restricts access to high-quality child care for low-income families.

As child care costs rise, the portion of income required to cover costs increases as well, leaving some families, especially single-parent families, facing tough choices about which bills to pay each month. This year, the median cost of caring for an infant in a child care center consumed a daunting 52% of the state median income for a single-parent family, up one percent from last year. This care consumes 15.3% of the median income for a married couple. It is not uncommon for child care to be the second most expensive monthly bill for young families, surpassed only by rent/mortgage costs.

Solving Washington’s child care crisis requires increased public, business and philanthropic investment in child care and early learning programs. Child Care Aware of Washington advocates for increased investment, both public and private, and for increased access to high-quality care. We work with providers to improve child care quality and help providers save time and money on the business side of their programs with our online business services portal Washington Child Care Business Edge.

Child Care Aware of Washington tracks child care supply, demand and costs statewide and in every county. Our data reports are available here: https://childcareawarewa.org/advocacy/#data.

Child Care Aware of Washington is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to connecting families to local, high-quality, licensed child care and early learning programs, and to supporting providers who deliver high-quality care. As a statewide network of six regional agencies, we work side-by-side with child care providers, offering professional development services and higher education scholarships to help providers integrate research-based, best practices into their programs. We are committed to ensuring that each and every child in Washington, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, culture, primary language or economic status, has access to the quality care and early learning they need to succeed in school and life. For more information, please visit our website at http://wa.childcareaware.org and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Child-Care-Aware-of-Washington-149636987661/ and on Twitter @childcarewa.

Notes:

  1. Child Care Aware of Washington’s 2018 Data Report: Trends, Child Care Supply, Cost of Care & Demand for Referrals
  2. Washington State Office of Financial Management. Median Household Income, 2017 Projected. https://www.ofm.wa.gov/washington-data-research/economy-and-labor-force/median-household-income-estimates. March 2018

October 22, 2019

Deeann Burtch Puffert named to lead Child Care Aware of Washington

October 22, 2019 – The Board of Trustees for Child Care Aware of Washington welcomes Deeann Burtch Puffert as Chief Executive Officer to lead the non-profit organization, in concert with its six regional partners, as it expands its services and advocacy for families throughout Washington and its commitment to preparing children for success in school and in life.

Puffert spent her entire professional career working on behalf of children, youth, families and providers in the not-for-profit sector.   For the past 34 years, she focused on the issue of early childhood education and has tackled many aspects of the challenges of affordability, accessibility, and quality by addressing workforce, economic and equity system improvements with a myriad of funders, national, state and community partners.

“Deeann’s many years of hands on experience in the early childhood education system, from stepping into a classroom to directing a resource organization, makes her the perfect person to take on the mantle of organizational leadership for CCA,” said Lois Martin, CCA WA Board of Trustees Co-Chair and Director of Community Day Center for Children, Seattle. “She drives organizational performance that results in outcomes for children.”

Puffert worked inside the CCA WA system for 30 years with the King & Pierce Counties regional partner, Child Care Resources (CCR). As CEO of CCR since 2009, Deeann led the organization’s development of a racial equity framework, services for children and families experiencing homelessness, the creation and expansion of Kaleidoscope Play & Learn groups for children in informal care, and a team supporting child care providers in quality improvement efforts and professional development. Child Care Resources also operates the CCA WA Family Center which, last year, helped nearly 15,000 families throughout the state find early childhood education referrals and resources.

“The Board of Trustees recognizes Deeann’s exceptional knowledge of the early learning system in our state and is eager for her to lead CCA WA to further address Washington’s child care crisis with our partners,” said David McRae, CCA WA Board of Trustees Co-Chair and Vice President, Banner Bank.

Prior to employment at Child Care Resources, Puffert worked as a Program Director responsible for the overall management and operation of four NAEYC-accredited centers that served approximately 180 families.

“I am excited to move from my work that has a regional perspective to working with CCA of WA staff to continue their fine work. I also look forward to growing and developing new relationships and partnerships that will continue to move child care and informal caregiving into full partnership within the early learning landscape,” Puffert said.

Puffert joins Child Care Aware of Washington on December 2.

October 21, 2019

Washington’s Economy Takes a Hit Due to Child Care Crisis

TACOMA, WA – OCT. 21, 2019 – Washington’s employers incurred an estimated $2.08 billion in costs due to employee turnover and absenteeism caused by our state’s child care crisis, according to a new report out today. These costs, combined with the opportunity cost to employers for lost productivity and investment prospects, add up to an estimated overall hit to Washington’s gross domestic product (GDP) of $6.5 billion last year.

These findings are part of a new report from the Washington State Child Care Collaborative Task Force, created in 2018 by the state legislature to identify new ways to expand access to high-quality, affordable child care. The task force brings businesses, child care providers, parents and legislators together to focus on the importance of child care to our state’s economy. Multiple partners, including the Washington State Department of Commerce, the Association of Washington Business and Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA), contributed to the report.

“At Child Care Aware of Washington we know working parents struggle to find quality, affordable child care, and we know child care providers struggle to keep their doors open. We also know that high-quality child care is extremely important for young children, who spend thousands of hours in child care each year while their brains are undergoing the most rapid phase of development. We are encouraged to see the legislature and new partners exploring ways Washington can alleviate the child care crisis,” said Ryan Pricco, director of advocacy and policy at CCA of WA.

Some key findings in the Mounting Costs of Child Care report:

  • 60% of Washington’s homes with children under age six have all adults working
  • 27% of parents quit their job or left school/training due to child care issues
  • 27% of parents changed their hours to part-time from full-time due to child care issues
  • 67% of Washington employers report absenteeism caused by child care issues
  • 9% of parents were terminated from work due to child care issues

“This report clearly shows more investment is needed in our state’s child care system. Right now only 1.1% of the state budget is for early learning and child care. Increased investment from the state and federal government, as well as from one of the primary beneficiaries of child care – the business community, would go a long way toward alleviating the child care crisis,” noted Pricco.

”Child care is not just a working parent issue, it’s an economic issue,” said Washington State Department of Commerce Director Dr. Lisa Brown. “In addition to hurting children and families, the lack of access to quality, affordable child care impacts employers, weighing on the economic vitality and growth that strengthens communities throughout the state.”

Parents of infants and young children across Washington struggle to find and afford high-quality, licensed child care, often paying more for child care than the cost of college tuition. Washington ranks on the top 10 list of states with least affordable child care for almost all types of care for children ages 0-5. The average cost of child care in our state for an infant and a preschooler in a center consumes 34 percent of the state median household income. The average cost of care for both children in a family home child care program consumes 27 percent of the median income. Overall, the cost of child care compared to family income has risen during the past six years. Since 2011, median child care rates have increased between 19-22 percent for center-based care and 14-22 percent for family child care,while median household income has increased just 18 percent.2

Solving Washington’s child care crisis requires increased public, business and philanthropic investment in child care and early learning programs. CCA of WA advocates for increased investment, both public and private, and for increased access to high-quality care. We work with providers to improve child care quality and help providers save time and money on the business side of their programs with our online shared business services portal Washington Child Care Business Edge. CCA of WA also tracks child care supply, demand and costs statewide and in every county. Our data reports are available here: https://childcareawarewa.org/advocacy.

Child Care Aware of Washington is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to connecting families to local, high-quality, licensed child care and early learning programs, and to supporting providers who deliver high-quality care. As a statewide network of six regional agencies, we work side-by-side with child care providers, offering professional development services and higher education scholarships to help providers integrate research-based, best practices into their programs. We are committed to ensuring that each and every child in Washington, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, culture, primary language or economic status, has access to the quality care and early learning they need to succeed in school and life. For more information, please visit our website at http://wa.childcareaware.org and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Child-Care-Aware-of-Washington-149636987661/ and on Twitter @childcarewa.

 

Notes:

  1. Child Care Aware of Washington’s 2018 Data Report: Trends, Child Care Supply, Cost of Care & Demand for Referrals
  2. Washington State Office of Financial Management. Median Household Income, 2017 Projected. https://www.ofm.wa.gov/washington-data-research/economy-and-labor-force/median-household-income-estimates. March 2018

August 15, 2019

New Nationwide Child Care Data Center Coming Soon

Child Care Aware of Washington is participating with Child Care Aware of America and the University of Chicago’s NORC research institute in building a new data resource that will provide in-depth child care data for the entire country. The new project, called the Child Care Data Center, will provide rich and interactive data about the state of child care in the U.S.

Two staff members from Child Care of Washington have joined the advisory panel for this new data center, and Washington is one of nine pilot states. The data center is funded in part by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and should launch in March 2020. Once completed it will fill major gaps in what we know and quantify about child care across the country.

More information is available here.

May 22, 2019

Washington Parents Struggle to Juggle Work, Child Care, Family Finances

Parents of young children across Washington struggle to find and afford high-quality, licensed child care. Some areas of the state have experienced significant reductions in licensed child care capacity, while other areas grapple with child care costs that consume large portions of the median income. All areas contend with child care costs that often exceed the cost of college tuition and a state subsidy system that reimburses providers at rates that don’t cover the costs of providing high-quality care, leaving many low-income parents with few, if any, options.

Of Washington’s 39 counties, Whitman, Okanogan and Whatcom counties have the most expensive child care for an infant and a preschooler in a child care center, relative to median household incomes.1 This means that in those three counties the cost of child care for an infant and a preschooler in a child care center consumes between 39.5 – 51.9 percent of median incomes. The average cost of child care statewide for an infant and a preschooler in a center consumes 34 percent of the state median income.

Whatcom, Okanogan and Skagit counties have the most expensive child care for an infant and a preschooler in a licensed family child care home (FCC), relative to median household incomes. In those counties caring for both children consumes between 34.4 – 36.8 percent of median household incomes. Statewide the average cost of care for both children in a FCC program consumes 27 percent of the median income.

“At Child Care Aware of Washington we are working every day across the state to both increase access to child care and to help providers improve the quality of their care,” said Elizabeth Swanson, Interim Executive Director at Child Care Aware of Washington. “Clearly more investment is needed at the state and federal levels, and from the business community, all of whom directly benefit from the child care system every day when working parents show up for work on time and ready to be productive.”

The most affordable counties for child care in a center for an infant and a preschooler as a percentage of median household income are Kitsap, Mason and Island counties, where the cost of care for both children consumes between 30 – 30.7 percent of median incomes. For FCC programs, the least expensive counties are Clark, Kitsap and Thurston counties, where the costs of caring for both children consume between 23.6 and 25.3 percent of median household incomes.

Overall, the cost of child care compared to family income has risen during the past six years. Since 2011, median household income has increased 18 percent, while median child care rates have increased between 19-22 percent for center-based care and 14-22 percent for family child care.2

Several areas of the state have experienced declines in child care capacity, particularly in central WA and the Olympic Peninsula region. Jefferson County has seen a 28 percent decrease in capacity over the last six years, while Clallam County saw a 17 percent decrease. However, some counties are seeing recent increases in child care capacity, including King and Lewis Counties.

Despite the recent increase in capacity in some counties, there has been a general loss of family child care programs overall. This has reduced capacity for child care outside of normal weekday hours – care that is critical to several career fields including healthcare, public safety, travel, retail and hospitality. The percentage of overall capacity for evening, weekend and overnight care decreased from 13 percent in 2012 to only 10 percent in 2018.2

Meanwhile the reimbursement rates paid by the state to providers who accept children whose families use Working Connections Child Care subsidies have not kept pace. Despite recent investments provided by the government, the cost to provide quality child care continues to exceed the reimbursements providers receive for providing care for our most vulnerable children and families. For this reason, many providers accept only a few children at a time on subsidy, or none at all. This further restricts access to high-quality child care for low-income families. The legislature did increase these reimbursement rates for providers in the budget that passed April 28th, but not enough to fully cover the cost of quality care.

Washington ranks on the top 10 list of states with least affordable child care for almost all types of child care for all children ages 0-5, and for the cost of caring for a school-age child during the summer.3

A ReadyNation report released in January calculates the cost of America’s child care crisis is $57 billion annually in lost revenue, earnings and productivity.U.S. businesses lose approximately $4.4 billion each year due to employees missing work because of insufficient reliable child care.3  With the unemployment rate at a historical low, employers are increasingly operating with fewer employees than they need. Increased access to high-quality, affordable child care would allow more parents to enter and remain in the workforce.

Solving Washington’s child care crisis requires increased public, business and philanthropic investment in child care and early learning programs. Child Care Aware of Washington advocates for increased investment, both public and private, and for increased access to high-quality care. We work with providers to improve child care quality and help providers save time and money on the business side of their programs with our online shared business services portal Washington Child Care Business Edge.

Child Care Aware of Washington tracks child care supply, demand and costs statewide and in every county. Our data reports are available here: https://childcareawarewa.org/advocacy/#layout-accordion-1.

Child Care Aware of Washington is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to connecting families to local, high-quality, licensed child care and early learning programs, and to supporting providers who deliver high-quality care. As a statewide network of six regional agencies, we work side-by-side with child care providers, offering professional development services and higher education scholarships to help providers integrate research-based, best practices into their programs. We are committed to ensuring that each and every child in Washington, regardless of race, religion, gender, ethnicity, culture, primary language or economic status, has access to the quality care and early learning they need to succeed in school and life. For more information, please visit our website at http://wa.childcareaware.org and follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Child-Care-Aware-of-Washington-149636987661/ and on Twitter @childcarewa.

To view the notes, a statewide map and the full table of county comparisons, click here.

May 3, 2019

Child Care Provider Appreciation Day

Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is Friday, May 10. While it is important to share your appreciation for your provider every day, this is a special day for making sure child care providers everywhere feel appreciated for the important work they do.

There are many ways to thank your provider and show your appreciation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have your child make them a special card or a poster
  • Drop off breakfast or lunch
  • Give a gift card
  • Bring a special treat
  • Write a nice note

Child care providers work very long days, and often are not compensated well. For most, child care truly is a labor of love. So please make sure to let your provider know how much you appreciate all they do for your child and family. After all, what would you do without them?

#ProviderAppreciationDay

May 2, 2019

Child Care Aware of Washington Play and Learn Group Featured on NW News Network

We are thrilled to have one of our play and learn groups featured in this excellent article from Northwest News Network. Child Care Aware of Washington’s Early Connections Play and Learn group is where young children can experience playing with peers and early learning while their families learn about child development and local resources. Read, or listen to, more here:

https://www.nwnewsnetwork.org/post/free-play-space-yakima-helps-families-crisis-relax-settle-smile?fbclid=IwAR2qlYWfMp-Xtbxuw1IVHfJfS8hpIRqioBB0DNX0z10YkE_41Z0QdoQqEls