The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) is rolling out a new campaign called “Child Care Now.”
The campaign is based on four crucial facts about high-quality child care:
• it helps parents get and keep jobs
• it gives children a good start in school and life
• many families can’t access or afford this care, and
• many child care providers aren’t earning enough to get by
“Child care is so underfunded that five out of six of the 14.2 million children eligible for federal child care assistance do not receive help,” Helen Blank, the director of Child Care and Early Learning at NWLC, testified last year before the Democratic Women’s Working Group, an organization of members of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Blank adds, “In the past several years, we have actually moved backwards. In 2015, 373,000 fewer children received child care assistance than in 2006, and the program served fewer children than in 1998 or any year since.”
The Child Care Now campaign is addressing this need by convincing “policymakers to make a significant financial investment to expand access to high-quality child care,” according to its website, which lists NWLC’s local, state, and national allies, including Early Edge California, NC Early Education Coalition, and NAEYC (the National Association for the Education of Young Children).
The campaign website has a number of advocacy tools.
• Want to make a strong case? There’s an agenda for change.
• Want to take action? Send a letter to your Congressional representative.
• Want to share your advocacy broadly? There are tips about making key points, writing op-eds, and using social media.
As Blank says in her testimony, “We must make sure that child care assistance is available to all families who need it so that parents can work to support their families while secure in the knowledge that their children are safe and well cared for.”