[Parentsgroup-list] Federal funding for child care petition

wenc at fas.harvard.edu wenc at fas.harvard.edu
Thu Jun 7 17:35:29 EDT 2007


>From MomsRising.org.  Apologies if you aren't the petition-signing type! --CW

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Dear MomsRising member,

Right now, indeed this very minute, your Congressional representatives are
deciding how much funding to put toward child care for those who need it most. 
It's critically important that they hear from you today.

Why?  In these modern times, more than 60% of families have both parents in the
labor force.  Yet despite the fact that study after study shows early learning,
good child care, is critical to children's short and long-term success--and that
parents must have child care in order to work--about 150,000 low-income children
have lost federal child care assistance since 2001.  And if current funding
trends continue, 300,000 more children will lose their assistance by the end of
the decade.  We can turn this trend around.

TELL CONGRESSS CHILD CARE FUNDING IS CRITICAL: Please email a letter to your
Congressional representatives today urging them to make child care funding for
low income families a priority. Remind them that the children and families in
their communities who depend on child care assistance are counting on them. And
if your family relies on child care support tell them your story.

*Help children and families by taking action with 1-click, just go to:
http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/momsrising/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=11838

THE POLICY LOWDOWN:   Federal funding for child care has remained largely
stagnant over the past several years.  Limited funding has led a number of
states to cut back on the assistance they provide to families.  They've also
cut back on what caregivers are paid.  They receive far less than what they
need to support their own families.

These cuts have had real impacts on parents and children.  For example, one
South Carolina mother lost her child care assistance due to state child care
cuts.  As a result, she could no longer afford the child care center that her
three-year-old son had been attending.  Instead, she had to bring her son with
her to the restaurant where she worked as a prep cook.

She is just one of many low-income families across the country that has been
affected by child care cuts.  Families have been unable to keep their jobs,
have struggled to afford rent and other necessities, or have been forced to
turn to low-quality child care because it is all they can afford.

TURNING THE TREND AROUND:  To turn this trend around, we need a big increase in
the Child Care and Development Block Grant--the major federal child care
program--in the FY 2008 Appropriations bill.  This additional funding would
make up for ground that was lost over the past several years because of
inadequate funding.

Without this funding, many low income families will not be able to afford
quality child care and more children will go without.

DON'T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY!  Email Congress today using our easy 1-click tool
and tell them to make it right by funding child care.

*Don't forget to send an email letter today.  Just go to:
http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/momsrising/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=11838

America must invest in early care, not just because necessary for mothers and
kids, but because each child is precious to society as a whole--they represent
the future productive engine of our economy and communities.

Best - The MomsRising Team

p.s.   Thank you to the National Women's Law Center for advocating on behalf of
low-income women and their families, as well as for this important policy. 
They helped us get this critical alert out.

p.p.s.  JUST THE FACTS, MOM:  Quality child care without some type of subsidy is
unaffordable for many American families. Consider that a full one quarter of
families with children under age six earned less than $25,000 in 2001 and that
child care in the United States costs between $4,000 and $10,000 a year for
each child.  Do the math--this leaves young families in a terrible bind and
America in a child care crisis.

Sadly, America ranks low in global comparisons of childcare support: The United
States ranks twentieth out of seventy-two countries in terms of the percentage
of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) spent on early childhood education. In many
other nations, working families can count on publicly guaranteed parental
leave; and in many, preschool childcare or early-childhood education is already
publicly provided.

This is a missed opportunity for our country. Excellent child care has been
proven again and again to have longstanding economic and educational benefits.
One study (Significant Benefits by Lawrence Schweinhart and others) found that,
"After 27 years, each $1 invested [in high quality early learning programs]
saved over $7 by increasing the likelihood that children would be literate,
employed, and enrolled in postsecondary education, and making them less likely
to be school dropouts, dependent on welfare, or arrested for criminal activity
or delinquency."

Early learning opportunities are critical to build a generation of responsible,
smart, and working adults. Yet these opportunities aren't widely available in
Am




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