Advocating for Changes to the Child Care System

From TFC President and CEO Paula Neth

Imagine there was no agreement that the current K-12 education of our children was in the public’s interest. Imagine we provided a publicly-funded education for a select few, and let the majority fund their own education with parent tuition. 

It would be an unimaginable crisis fraught with inequity, and a grave missed opportunity. Unfortunately, the crisis you are imagining is real. This is the model we rely on to fund the care and education of the children with the most to gain and lose — infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. 

A single-income household with a stay-at-home parent is no longer a feasible option for the majority of young families. Child care is a necessity. Not simply as a safe place for children to stay while their parents are at work, but as a brain-building environment that prepares children for success. 

This system is too expensive for parents, unprofitable for providers and fails to provide teachers a livable wage. 

Fixing a Broken Child Care System

Improving the environments that shape young children’s futures is central to our work at The Family Conservancy. We believe all families need affordable child care, all children deserve the amazing opportunities high-quality early education offers, and all teachers deserve a livable wage. 

So often, this conversation is met with agreement, but true progress continues to be curtailed by a lack of funding. We desperately need a dramatic reprioritization of early education so all young children, and our society can reap its rewards.

Be Part of the Solution

Given what we know about brain development, notably that 90 percent of brain growth happens in the first five years of life, we need a significant reimagining of our early education system. There are decades of research spotlighting the unquestionable benefits it offers to children, families, our community, and our country. We believe everyone deserves a quality early education. 

While we’re doing a lot to improve early education in the Kansas City community, we can’t create the early education system children and families need without you. In order to improve access to high-quality early education, your elected officials need to know it’s something you care about and support.

Fortunately, it’s easy for you to stay informed and take advantage of critical advocacy opportunities by signing up for our advocacy alerts.

An Example of Early Education Advocacy Success

Just this past December, Congress increased the largest source of federal funding for child care by $550 million (Child Care Development Block Grant).

While this is a huge improvement, and a success worth celebrating, much work is still needed. Prior to the increase, the $5.28 billion budget only provided financial backing to assist 15 percent of children eligible for child care subsidy, and no support for the millions of low-income and middle income families who cannot afford the high price of care.

Sign up for our advocacy alerts to learn how you can be part of the change.