THE LATEST: FFYF released its Blueprint for Progress, offering Congress and the Biden administration insight into opportunities, big and small, to support early learning and care programs for children from birth through age five. The sweeping resource provides a true blueprint for lawmakers with policy proposals to address access, affordability, and quality in child care and early learning, outlining wide-ranging solutions that fit squarely into the various legislative vehicles Congress might pursue, from infrastructure, to tax reform, to annual funding bills, to budget reconciliation, and more. The Blueprint is online at FFYF.org/Blueprint
EARLY EDUCATION APPRENTICESHIPS FRONT AND CENTER IN CONGRESS: Early childhood education apprenticeships were on the table in Congress with two bills addressing these important programs. The House of Representatives passed the National Apprenticeship Act, which would invest more than $3.5 billion in apprenticeship programs over five years, creating nearly 1 million additional apprenticeship opportunities across many sectors, and it includes an amendment offered by Reps. Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Jason Crow (D-CO) highlighting apprenticeships for early educators and child care providers. In addition, the bipartisan Early Educators Apprenticeship Act, which would support and expand states’ efforts to establish ECE apprenticeships programs to address the growing need for qualified early educators, was reintroduced in the House and Senate. Read more about these two bills here.
HOW THE PANDEMIC IS MAKING IT DIFFICULT TO FIND AND RETAIN QUALIFIED EARLY EDUCATORS AND CARE PROVIDERS: Underscoring the importance of early education apprenticeships, the pandemic has made it more difficult for early care and education facilities to retain high-quality early childhood professionals and replace those who leave, according to reporting from EdSurge. Studies estimate annual turnover rates between 26 and 40 percent for early childhood educators in licensed facilities. Read more here.
EARLY LEARNING AND CARE IN THE RECONCILIATION PACKAGE: The recently proposed reconciliation package to provide the country with COVID-19 relief includes $39 billion for child care providers, along with other crucial elements designed to support families with young children and the early childhood programs they rely on. FFYF has put together a helpful overview of many of the early learning and care provisions in the reconciliation package. Read the full analysis here.
A YEAR LIKE NO OTHER FOR WORKING PARENTS: The Pew Research Center recently released new data from a survey of working parents that shows that many working parents have experienced professional challenges while trying to balance their work and family responsibilities. The survey found that, “among employed parents who are working remotely all or most of the time and have children younger than 18 at home, about two-thirds (65%) say they have at least some child care responsibilities when working from home, including 26% who say they have a lot.” It is difficult for parents who work full-time to also parent full-time as schools and child care facilities remain closed. Read more of the results of this new survey here.
BE SMART: UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE CHILD TAX CREDIT AND THE CHILD CARE TAX CREDIT — AND WHY WE NEED BOTH: While there are a handful of tax credits and deductions within the tax code that support families with children, the only provision in the tax code created specifically to help families with the cost of child care is the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit (CDCTC) – often referred to as the child care tax credit. As negotiations for another stimulus package continue, refer to this helpful primer on the difference between CDCTC and the Child Tax Credit.
ICYMI: FFYF POLL SHOWS WIDESPREAD BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FOR KEY FEDERAL EARLY LEARNING AND CARE POLICY PROPOSALS: Last week, FFYF released the results of a new poll that finds widespread voter support for early learning and care policy proposals that fit squarely into the myriad of legislative vehicles Congress might pursue, from infrastructure, to tax reform, to budget reconciliation. The full results and analysis can be found here.
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