Child care is critical to millions of families in America. Child care allows parents to go to work each day and earn an income to support their families. Quality child care affords parents not only the opportunity to work outside the home but to feel confident their children are learning and preparing for the K-12 years.
According to statistics:
- Over 11 million children under age 5 are in some type of child care arrangement every week while their parents work.
- On average, children of working mothers spend 36 hours every week in child care.
- Too often, child care is hard to find, difficult to afford, and of questionable quality. (Source: NACCRRA)
Quality child care can play a major role in ensuring that all children start school ready and eager to learn AND that they find success later in life. Research studies have shown that:
- Children who attended higher-quality centers scored better on cognitive tests from the toddler years to age 21. Academic achievement in both reading and math was higher from the primary grades through young adulthood. The children were less likely to repeat grades or be placed in special education classes. They were more likely to complete high school, enroll in and graduate from a four-year college. (Source: Abecedarian Study)
- As 40-year-old adults, low-income children who attended a high quality preschool program were more likely to be employed, earn a higher income, be home-owners, and spend less time in jail. (Source: High/Scope Perry Preschool Program)
Therefore, quality early care and education matters and is well worth advocating for! As parents, you are the experts and the best advocates for your children. YOU can take steps to raise the bar on quality child care in your neighborhood and throughout the United States!
Go to Child Care Aware of America and check out issues of national importance as it relates to quality care, along with relevant national legislation before Congress and tips on how to best advocate for quality.
Go to First 2000 Days to discover how to advocate for quality child care issues right here in North Carolina!
Some information adapted from OCPC website