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Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

  • 1.  Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 05-28-2020 06:07 PM
    It dawned on me today, that maybe we need to start speaking in different terms and vernacular when describing the importance of childcare and childcare centers during the pandemic and the road to economic recovery.  Every successful economy has an infrastructure of services that it relies on to keep it moving forward.  If one of those key elements of the infrastructure is in short supply, then it disrupts the supply chain and slows the growth.  If one of the key elements disappears or breaks down completely, the economy grinds to a halt, until an alternate solution is created.  That is where we are today.  Childcare is in short supply at a time when the government is trying to get the economy going again.  However this key element of the infrastructure is being over looked as one of the pieces required to move the economy forward again.  In fact this key part of the infrastructure is about to collapse without a safety net in place which will cause the economy to falter again. The bridge is crumbling; we can see it crumbling; but people are still driving over it just hoping it will still be in tact when they get to the other side.

    Using this type of language leaves out the typical references to ECE and its importance to society and the growth and support of children.  For some political leaders is too easy for them to dismiss those conversations as not being relatable to the "big world problems" they have to manage.  But when you start talking about economics, recovery and infrastructure it re-frames the conversation and puts ECE and childcare in a context that is more relatable to them.  It's make childcare more relevant in a way they had not considered before.  If they won't respond to our knocks on the front door to get their attention, maybe we should use the backdoor tactics to get what we want and gain a seat at the decision making table.

    Curious to hear your responses to this idea!

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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
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  • 2.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 05-30-2020 08:37 AM

    Years ago, all the early care and education programs  In a western city banded together and shut down for the day. Families arrived at the facilities to find doors locked and notes on the door. The city stopped working and havoc ensued.  I wish I could remember where this happened so I could share more details. I think it was San Francisco or Seattle. Anyway, it brought attention to the importance of our industry.

    The current Covid crisis is bringing attention to us again. Families understand our importance. Certain state officials understand, too. Governor Northam in Virginia has allocated $70 million to help programs with their financial expenses for April-June. There is talk of additional funding as programs remain open or reopen. Although this is a drop in the bucket, it is something. 

    We have a golden opportunity to raise awareness and upgrade our status. Talking about what we do using business and economical jargon is an excellent beginning. We have to stop using terms like "daycare" and "daycare workers" and correct those journalists and politicians who do.   We are teachers and early childhood professionals working in early care and education programs.   

    Whenever I am asked about the state of our economy or a business issue, my response is "the country works because early care and education works ".    Just imagine what would happen if we didn't. 



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    Susan Pollack
    Norfolk VA
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  • 3.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 05-31-2020 12:52 AM
    Susan, you are correct about the Child Care Walkout.  It was in Seatle, Washington.  The quote below talks about it.  The quote is from a paper by Marcy Whitebook Ph.D. called Working for Worthy Wages:  The Child Care Compensation Movement, 1970 -2001.  https://cscce.berkeley.edu/files/2001/worthywages.pdf
    "In the spring of 1991, the Seattle community galvanized child care worker advocates around the country by combining their annual spring child care parade, entitled
    "Child Care on the Move for Worthy Wages," with a one-day walkout or closure by some 75 centers for part or all of the day. The goal was to get more parents involved in demonstrating the severity of the child care staffing crisis to their employers, the government and the general public. The parade drew 1,800 teachers, parents, center
    directors, child care advocates and children, along with the Mayor of Seattle, and earned widespread press coverage. Following the parade, a "child care summit" took place to design policy, teacher empowerment and organizing strategies. That summer, members of the Child Care Employee Caucus began seriously discussing a coordinated national walkout or campaign, and the CCEP newsletter invited feedback on the effort.

    I agree with all of you!  Susan and Tim and Joan (HI!!)  I think we all need to help get the Chid Care is Essential Bill become a reality!

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    Audette Bisaillon
    Director of SchoolAge Programs
    ROSCCO
    Fairfield CT
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  • 4.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 05-30-2020 12:47 PM
    Great points Tim since it appears that is the only way to get to the table. You truly need to be part of the national conversation.

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    Joan Parris
    Stamford CT
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  • 5.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 05-31-2020 12:31 PM
    I work in a rural Upstate NY county, which is a childcare desert.  I have initiated this exact conversation with point people in my community.  The needs are high, and  change will not take place until ECH advocates step forward.

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    Sharon Vesely
    Executive Director
    The Place
    Norwich NY
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  • 6.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-01-2020 10:35 AM
    Tim,
    I agree.  When I was at the Public Policy Forum in March, I spoke to my Senator, Robert Casey.  He has been a long time supporter of Early Childhood Education, but I asked him.. so how can we show and get others on board.  He said just what you said, Tim.. talk about the Work Force issues and the economy to get others on board.

       Now is the opportunity to really make clear the value of Early childhood education not only for the future of the nation as a well prepared future workforce but to support the current workforce so that people can get back to work.  We need to enlist families, political leaders, ECE leaders, researchers, Business leaders, teachers... everyone who recognized the value of ECE.

    Ok... so where do we start? .. the whole ECE field closed down, not just like Seattle  did in 1991 so that impact was made clear to everyone in the country..The Power to the Profession documents are formulated... I'm thinking about this all the time.. and can't decide.. What is our next steps?  I'm ready to go!!!!  Now is the time to MOVE on this...ideas?

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    Lynn Hartle
    Professor of Education
    The Penn State Univ. Brandywine
    Media PA
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  • 7.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-02-2020 06:35 AM

    Good Morning Lynn:

    Other elected officials who are supporters also share a similar view with Senator Casey. My advocacy efforts date to 2004 as President of the Virginia Family Child Care Associations. Our work with elected officials to bring about regulatory changes was an eye-opener. At that time, I framed the phrase "Virginia Work Because of Child Care Works."

    Building on my banking experience, I expertly communicated this message to the three groups that could bring about our desired changes: the business community, the elected officials, and parents. I believe that the difference we seek lies in the hands of working parents.

    Ideally, in the early childhood profession that understands the public policy process, we need to come up with an agreed Agenda-a plan with a list of talking points. We need to be speaking the same language and pursuing common goals at every level: local, state, and national. For lack of specificity, an ongoing public relations public awareness campaign with emphasis and continuity during election season at all three levels.



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    Monica Jackson
    Owner
    Jackson Child Care
    Springfield VA
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  • 8.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-02-2020 11:28 AM
    Hi Everyone!!

    I think we have common ground!  It sounds like Monica has listed some of the next steps that Lynn is asking about.

    Monica talked about:
    --an agreed Agenda-a plan with a list of talking points--speaking the same language to the business world, parents and elected officials.
    ---Pursue common goals at every level: local, state, and national.
    ---an ongoing public relations public awareness campaign with emphasis and continuity during election season at all three levels.

    Tim says  "Every successful economy has an infrastructure of services that it relies on to keep it moving forward.  If one of those key elements of the infrastructure is in short supply, then it disrupts the supply chain and slows the growth.  If one of the key elements disappears or breaks down completely, the economy grinds to a halt, until an alternate solution is created.  That is where we are today. "

    Monica says  "The business of childcare is the foundational blueprint essential for other companies and the economy to thrive. The 50 billion is an investment in human capital for current and future gains. A change of perspective, "Should there be an investment of 50 billion to support our nation's current workforce, and the building of it's youngest citizens' early learning?"  
    An investment allows money to build and create wealth over time. It ensures present and future financial security. A bailout is financial assistance in hopes of avoiding collapse.  A 50 billion (some industry experts estimate twice this amount) investment in the childcare industry is essential for an economic recovery."

    It is so true that as an industry we need a safety net to ensure programs will be available as parents return to work.  That is a beginning and a short-term solution.  I agree with Monica.  That is why an "investment" is what we need not a bailout.   But I think that kind of media coverage opens the door to expand the number of people who become aware there is an issue behind that door.  For now I think we need to work really hard at the federal level to get the money needed for the Child Care is Essential Bill.  If we don't establish that kind of financial support change will be very difficult.  Parents can not afford the full cost of care.  On the state level we can stay involved in how plans are made to use the dollars.  Locally we can raise awareness through social media and try to rally parents behind the issue as partners in the movement.

    The United States is in a terrible state of mind right now.  I think our journey going forward is even more uncertain.  I am following the Child Care is Essential Bill and I will try to keep you informed of actions needed. as they arise.  Maybe we can work on talking points together?  I am all in!

    Audette Bisaillon
    Director of SchoolAge Programs
    ROSCCO
    Fairfield CT


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    Audette Bisaillon
    Director of SchoolAge Programs
    ROSCCO
    Fairfield CT
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  • 9.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-02-2020 12:23 PM

    Very good points Audette.  We definitely need to create a "call to action" in order to get this topic out in front of everyone.



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    Tim Kaminski
    Director/Owner
    Gingerbread Kids Academy
    Richmond TX
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  • 10.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-02-2020 02:12 PM
    HI Tim, Monica, Audette,
    I agree with Monica, that a "shift to the local levels to establish an inclusive grass root base would be expeditious. We need to find ways to bring together already established agencies, and individuals currently working on this issue"...
    ....But i am thinking....so we can all work at our local level but with a National support and focus, I agree with others that we need some strong, clear, research based talking points that we can all use and adapt for our local regions, but carry similar messages about the value of high quality child care, the need in the Workforce (current and future), ECE teachers who are valued and respected including adequate compensation... and maybe a few more.  I am all in too... can we form a working group?    Lynn


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    Lynn Hartle
    Professor of Education
    The Penn State Univ. Brandywine
    Media PA
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  • 11.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-03-2020 11:50 AM
    Hi Lynne,
    I am very willing to work with a diverse group of advocates.  It seems like we have a few right here!!  We have a lot to share and learn from each other.  I feel very positive about the things happening in Connecticut.  For the past few years I have been engaged in direct service which completely eliminated my time for advocacy efforts.  I am returning to advocacy efforts again so I need to catch up with the current landscape.

    I came across this article which I am reviewing to formulate a vision for what financing could be.

    file:///home/chronos/u-38419a91f865e100228d1d949ea7c5e89059d390/MyFiles/Downloads/dbasse_184857.pdf

    Let me know how you are thinking of setting up a work group.




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    Audette Bisaillon
    Director of SchoolAge Programs
    ROSCCO
    Stamford CT
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  • 12.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-02-2020 01:50 PM
    Audette,
    Thankful for the clarity and your recommendations. After the stated priority, a shift to the local levels to establish an inclusive grass root base would be expeditious. We need to find ways to bring together already established agencies, and individuals currently working on this issue. A bottom-up approach with an emphasis on building numbers and representations. I am also in.

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    Monica Jackson
    Owner
    Jackson Child Care
    Springfield VA
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  • 13.  RE: Childcare is part of the Infastructure of an Economic Recovery and a Sustainable Economy

    Posted 06-04-2020 07:12 AM
    Dear Tim:

    I am old enough to remember how the type of language that you are using was anathema to the profession. I, too, believe that we need to use the language that the greater society understands and perhaps those tactics that they understand because appealing to the better side of people does not seem to work, especially if there are folks who do not need the services of your business. I remember bringing up the idea of a one-day walkout at one of the NAEYC Town Meetings and being met with a huge gasp. I did then and still believe now that the place of ECE in the daily functioning of our society and country would be so pronounced from a one-day walkout that we would get immediate attention.

    Other advanced countries see the education of young children and childcare as essential services to be supported by the infrastructure of government, not as a controlling element but as something that should be available to all families who need or want it. Those same societies also have better systems for healthcare and paid leave for parents among other systems that support families.

    What we need to have from the government is to recognize the role of early childhood education in the living organism of this country's body, without which nothing functions very well. We will be going back to when parents worked and 5-year-olds were left at home in charge of even younger siblings. That is not acceptable.

    Alas, we are in a terrible situation now with this contagious virus that we have not figured out how to contain except through masks and distancing. We know who some of the vulnerable groups are for this virus but we do not have any real good treatment or prevention through vaccination. Regardless of this, those who work in the field and who own centers must band together to form a movement to get recognized as an important part of our society without which the society does not work well.

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    Nora Krieger, PhD
    Associate Professor Emerita/Past Chair NJEEPRE
    Bloomfield College/NJ Educators Exploring the Practices of Reggio Emilia
    Highland Park, NJ
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