May 5th marks Children’s Day, or Kodomo no hi, for many Japanese and Japanese American families — a day to celebrate the health, happiness, and individuality of children (oh, and also gives a shout out to us mamas). And we fly koi streamers called koinoburi because koi fish are warriors and can swim up waterfalls (or so I am told). It’s one of my favorite holidays because it’s all about our kids and investing in them now to see them prosper in the future. We could use more of that, right?!
This year, what better way to fully celebrate Children’s Day than by supporting real change for children and families by solving the childcare crisis?! Let’s drop Congress a line and get them on this celebratory bandwagon.
Join me and tell to Congress that we need them to be warrior koi and to co-sponsor and support the Child Care for Working Families Act!
As a country we need to do better by our children — we owe it to their health, happiness, and individual needs and dreams to provide them with every opportunity to thrive. And that starts at the very beginning. Children and families across the country are continually denied access to affordable high-quality early learning programs, like prek and childcare, that help build a strong foundation for kids and families to thrive. Families struggle to get to work while they search to find places for their children to be safe, loved and learning: Nearly half of American families live in “childcare deserts” where there aren’t enough childcare options.  Even when families can find childcare, it’s often unaffordable. Infant childcare costs more than public college tuition in a majority of states.
So it is no surprise, but no less unacceptable, when we see that 83% of parents with children under the age of five struggle to access affordable, high-quality early learning programs for their children.
Luckily, Congress has a solution dangling right in front of them: The Child Care for Working Families Act is a comprehensive solution that would expand access to affordable, high-quality childcare and pre-K for families while improving compensation and training for the childcare workforce. If passed, it would:
Lower childcare costs for low-income and middle-income families to no more than 7% of a family’s household income through a sliding scale, regardless of how many children they have.
Support universal access to high-quality preschool programs for all low- and middle-income 3 and 4 year-olds.
Significantly improve compensation and training for the childcare workforce (currently one of the lowest paid professions) to ensure that our nation’s teachers and caregivers have the support they need.
Assist parents in selecting the childcare provider of their choice—whether that be a center or family childcare home, friend, relative, or neighbor. In addition, improve care during non-traditional hours to help meet the needs of working families.
Support more inclusive, high-quality childcare providers and centers for children with disabilities.
Help all Head Start programs meet new expanded duration requirements and provide full-day, full-year programming.
Working families without care are like a fish out of water! We can’t stand for inaction that lets families flounder. It’s well-passed time for Congress to take action. → Tell Congress to CARPe diem and go big for children and families by co-sponsoring the Child Care for Working Families Act!
Sing here now – action.momsrising.org/sign/MurrayScott_reintro/
It’s more important than ever that we speak up. Too often, people think of childcare as a “personal issue” – as in our own problem to solve. But we know that when enough people are experiencing the same problem, it’s not an epidemic of personal failings, but a larger problem that needs larger solutions. Continued investments like these can improve the well-being of our children, our own peace of mind and productivity at work, the care workforce, and our communities.
In fact, increasing access to high quality, affordable early learning opportunities (like childcare)—particularly for children and families furthest from opportunity—doesn’t just help families and the workforce, it also helps our national economy. A new report that came out just last month found that the economic impact of the childcare crisis in our country is a roaring $57 billion a year. BILLIONS in losses each year?!
Let’s celebrate the health, happiness, and individual dreams of our children by telling Congress to support and co-sponsor this bill that would invest in the beautiful future we see for ALL our kids.
Together are a powerful voice for children and families!