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09/08/2021

Your Voice is Needed Urgently

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead

We just received a letter from the Director of the Early Childhood Initiative for the Bipartisan Policy Center. She asked us to share it with all readers of ExchangeEveryDay and Exchange magazine. It is timely, so please do take a minute to read it now, and pass it along to others:

"Dear Exchange Community,

As you may know, Congress is working quickly to finalize the text of its $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation proposal, which is expected to include major funding to address child care challenges around the country. This is an incredible opportunity for Congress to provide an unprecedented amount of funding to help more families, child care and early learning providers, and the early childhood workforce. But there is still work that needs to be done.

It is crucial that alongside expanding child care subsidies, Congress includes dedicated funding to support the quality and availability of child care facilities. In 35 states and congressional districts, including D.C., as many as one in three children with working parents lack access to child care in their community—almost 3.5 million children. An HHS OIG report found that 96% of child care providers had a potentially hazardous health or safety concern. And as you likely know, the federal Child Care and Development Block Grant cannot be used to support facility acquisition, major improvement, or expansion, and the COVID-19 relief funds also failed to specify they could be used for these purposes.

President Biden proposed a $25 billion investment in early learning facilities, but it remains to be seen if Congress will include this investment in their legislation. Although a strong majority of voters from both parties support federal funding to build new child care facilities, your voices need to be heard.  

We urge you to join us and our partners in contacting your elected officials to let them know why it is so important that Congress provide a dedicated investment in early learning facilities. Join us on social media with the hashtag #BuildUpChildCare to share your story, and encourage your partners to raise their voices.

With your help, we can get this across the finish line. Thank you for your partnership. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at the Bipartisan Policy Center by emailing Kathlyn McHenry (kmchenry@bipartisanpolicy.org)."

Sincerely,

Linda Smith
Director, Early Childhood Initiative
Bipartisan Policy Center  
https://bipartisanpolicy.org/early-childhood/   


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