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For Immediate Release:
May 9, 2007
Congress Should Support All Mothers and Their Children This Mother’s Day
(Washington, D.C.) -- As the nation celebrates Mother’s Day, the U.S. Congress should do its part to honor mothers by ensuring that working mothers have access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education programs for their children by increasing the funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant.
“In today’s society, many mothers work to support their families, and their children deserve to be in high quality child care where they will be nurtured and become ready for school,” said Mark Ginsberg, Ph.D., Executive Director of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). “Families are a child’s first teacher, but the availability of high quality child care for young children is a critical component in helping children learn and parents have stable work.”
Today, two out of three children under the age of six have working mothers. Yet, only one in seven children of low income working families have access to child care assistance. Research shows that high quality child care programs with qualified teachers, healthy and safe environments, developmentally appropriate materials and experiences prepare young children for school and for life. Many families are forced to make difficult choices for children’s needs and parents’ work because the cost of child care is a significant part of the family’s budget. For many providers, the ability to provide high quality programs is difficult because the reimbursement rates are too low.
The Child Care and Development Block Grant is a federal funding stream to states to help low income families afford child care and to help states improve the quality of all child care programs. Over the last several years, funding for the Child Care & Development Fund has been largely stagnant and has failed to keep up with the need to expand assistance to more families and to help more programs provide high quality experiences. Congress should change direction and make families and children a priority in the federal budget.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has nearly 90,000 members worldwide. The association is the largest and most influential advocate for early care and education in the
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Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.