Early learning and child care is critical to supporting our youngest learners, working parents, and businesses – making it a key pillar of Arkansas’ economy. Congress has long recognized the unique role of child care, leading to strong bipartisan support for federal solutions.
Below you will find talking points, social media and graphics, and suggested home district events you & your boss can use to highlight your support for the critical role child care plays in supporting Arkansas’ workforce and long-term economic success.
Child care is an integral pillar supporting Arkansas’ economy & long-term success.
But too many AR parents can’t afford the high cost of care they need to work.
I’m committed to investing in solutions that make #childcare accessible & affordable for working families.
Parents can’t go to work if they don’t have #ChildCare.
But AR parents struggle to find the child care they need, and when they do, the price is too high.
We can’t ignore this. We have to address child care challenges by investing in children, working parents & our economy.
Working parents who simply want to go to work & support their families shouldn’t be held back by the high cost & limited supply of #childcare.
That’s why I supported child care during the pandemic and why I’m committed to finding long term solutions for families.
- Child care costs more today than almost any other essential family expense. The average price of center based child care in Arkansas is $$7,498 annually.
- Since 1990, child care costs have risen 214%, with the price of care rising 25% in the last decade alone — twice as fast as other major expenses for consumers, like housing and groceries. Meanwhile, the average family income has increased by just 143% over the same period.
- But even for those who can afford it, finding quality care can be next to impossible. In Arkansas alone, one-third of residents live in a “child care desert,” where there are not enough child care spots for the number of children under the age of five.
- The child care sector is still down 88,300 from pre-pandemic levels, as many providers have opted for higher-paying jobs in other industries. In stark contrast, all private sector jobs and nonfarm employment have been recovered.
- In Arkansas, child care has an estimated impact of $702 million on the state’s economy.
- In fact, 71% of parents nationwide say that difficulty finding child care has impacted their ability to work.
- As a direct result of child care issues, the national economy loses upward of $57 billion annually in the form of lost earnings, productivity, and revenue.
Sample Newsletter and Events
Across Arkansas/District, child care providers have struggled to keep their doors open, making it difficult for working parents to find high-quality, affordable child care options for their young children. These challenges impact our local economy as more parents have left the workforce to care for their children.
While back home, I continue to hear from parents about how they just want a job to provide for their family, and from small businesses who continue to struggle to find and retain workers, particularly those with young children. That’s why I’m focused on continuing to work towards bipartisan solutions that will help ensure a more sustainable, stable child care sector that works for parents and businesses alike.
That’s why I’m (Insert District Event to Highlight the Importance of Child Care). See below for ideas on how to connect with constituents, both virtually and in-person, to discuss the importance of child care and show support for children, families, and the economy.
When I return to Washington, D.C. , I will use our conversations to inform and shape my work with colleagues to find solutions to ensure more parents have access to the affordable child care options that best fit their needs.
To follow my continued efforts on early learning and others, you can sign up for my e-newsletter, follow me on social media, or contact my office at any time.
– Host a meetings with local stakeholders, such as child care providers, business owners, and community leaders to discuss the critical role of child care to the local economy
– Host a neighborhood discussion or roundtable on how constituents have felt the impacts of the child care crisis (ex: how many days they’ve had to go without child care this year)
– Host telephone town halls for parents and caregivers to hear their concerns about how the breakdowns in the child care system have impacted them
– Speak with local business leaders about the challenges employers are facing because of child care shortages
– Host roundtables with local child care providers and professionals to discuss their experiences and how the past few years has impacted their ability to serve the children and working families that depend on them
Highlight First-Hand Knowledge
– Tour a child care, Head Start, or other early learning facility
– Call families participating in home-based child care to learn about their experiences
– Write an op-ed about the importance of quality, and how affordable child care plays a role for American families and our economic recovery