Child Care is Essential: #FundOurFuture
Child care is essential infrastructure to our state.
- It supports the workforce of today and develops our workforce of tomorrow.
- High-quality early education helps recruit young families and keep them in Delaware.
- We need to invest early to build the foundation for student success in K-12.
- Purchase of Care (POC) is a state subsidy for child care that helps low-income parents who work, are enrolled in training or school, or have a medical need.
Child care is in crisis in Delaware.
- POC rates have been extremely low and do not cover the cost of care.
- Delaware invests less than 25 cents for every dollar per child in children ages birth-5 compared to the state investment in children in K-12—yet brain development is greatest before kindergarten.
- The state should be investing in only high-quality care that supports children’s development. Learn more about POC and how rates are set here
Children and families are losing access. Because of low rates of state investment, child care providers are closing, laying off staff, and decreasing the number of children they can serve. We need investment now to stabilize the industry.
Delaware faced a shortage of high-quality providers and even some child care “deserts” before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the problem is growing.
We ask the Joint Finance Committee and all members of the General Assembly to invest $50M in FY22 in child care.
- $30M to pay based on enrollment to provide stability for families and providers
- $20M to pay based on the Market Rate-- which is still lower than true cost of care
- And, we need to make child care a door opener in the budget process to ensure it’s funded at the level of need each year for this essential service.
Without significant investments, the state’s child care industry will collapse.
Talking points developed by Rodel, DEAEYC and Delaware Readiness Teams.