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Archive for the ‘Cost and affordability’ Category

Source: Center for American Progress

 

What makes high-quality child care so expensive? The Center for American Progress has a new interactive tool that makes it easy to see how much quality costs.

Advocates can use this tool to deliver one of the most important policy messages in early education: Quality costs much more than many parents can afford.

The most expensive aspect of quality? Teachers’ pay and benefits.

To learn more, use the interactive tool. Click on the link above and enter your state and whether you want to see the costs for an infant, toddler, or preschool-age child.

Once you choose, a graphic pops up. There’s a picture of a classroom and a list of options with on/off switches such as “fewer children per teacher,” “increase contribution to health insurance,” and “make the classroom bigger.”

In Massachusetts, for example, the base price for a preschool child is $893 per month. But click on “provide more time for teachers to plan lessons,” and two (more…)

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It’s no secret that preschool can be a financial challenge.

As the title of this Business Insider article states: “In 23 states, it costs more to send your child to daycare than college.”

There is federal and state funding, but not nearly enough to meet the demand for high-quality programs.

The solution? Fix the EEC financing system, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says in a new report – “Transforming the Financing of Early Education and Care.” This report builds on a 2015, Institute of Medicine report about transforming the birth-through-age-8 workforce.

Famous for issuing reports on science and health care, the national academies “provide nonpartisan, objective guidance for decision makers on pressing issues.”

The financing report sounds an alarm, noting: (more…)

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“While high-quality early care and education for children from birth to kindergarten entry is critical to child development and has the potential to generate significant economic returns in the long run, it has been financed in such a way that makes early education available only to a fraction of the families needing and desiring care, and does little to further develop the early care and education workforce.”

LaRue Allen, the Raymond and Rosalee Weiss Professor of Applied Psychology at New York Univerisity, “Financial structure of early childhood education requires overhaul to make it accessible and affordable for all families,” Phys.org, February 22, 2018

“Transforming the Financing of Early Education and Care,” a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

What if child care were perfect?

It would be fun for kids, high-quality, easy for parents to afford, and readily available.

Child care providers would be highly-skilled and well paid.

And the country would feel the difference as more and more young children thrived.

Perfect is, of course, hard to come by, but Child Care Aware of America is pushing for vast improvements with a new policy agenda, “Igniting Possibilities, Promoting Innovation” — a blueprint that can be used by federal, state, and local leaders. (more…)

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Photo: Kate Samp for Strategies for Children

 

Early education is making local news thanks to Backyard Cambridge, a podcast launched last year by two Cambridge residents “to strengthen local news and civic engagement.”

This month the podcast covers universal pre-K.

As the story points out, finding the right pre-K program can be like walking into an overcrowded mall with no directory. There are private programs and public programs; vouchers and full-pay options; and child care centers, family child care, and school-based programs.

Money also matters. Parents who can spend more of their income on child care can also afford to hire nannies. Cambridge’s public schools offer “junior kindergarten,” for 4-year-olds, but only for half of the ones who live in the city.

Why should anyone care? (more…)

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JD Chesloff

We caught up with JD Chesloff, who just completed a 10-year term on the Board of Early Education and Care (EEC), and asked him about what he’s seen over the last decade.

As readers of this blog know, JD’s career includes working at Strategies for Children and in the State House. He was also chair of EEC’s Board, and he is currently the executive director of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable.

What has he seen as an EEC board member?

“The organization has matured over the last 10 years. It started out as a fledgling idea of having all of the early childhood activity in one place.”

“It’s grown up over that time and now it’s a clearly equal member at the education table with K-12 and higher education.”

JD praises the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and its focus on ensuring that children and families have access to high-quality programs. The department has also wrestled with serving all children, making universal access part of its vision in a 5-Year Strategic Plan.

What was the most personally satisfying part of JD’s time on the Board? (more…)

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“Child Care is unaffordable across America.”

That’s what the national nonprofit Child Care Aware declared last month when it released the report “Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2017.”

The report as well as an interactive map with state data and a social media kit all provide an overview of the challenges and useful tools for advocates who want to raise public and legislative awareness.

 

 

“Right now, a single parent who works and has an infant in a child care center pays more than 27 percent of household income for care – and that is unacceptable,” a Child Care Aware blog explains.

How much should families pay on average? No more than 7 percent of their income, according to a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimate made in 2016. (more…)

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