Fall has arrived and while school, Halloween costume hunting, and pumpkin-picking are all in full swing, families are still having a hard time accessing affordable childcare. The good news is that for many families, there is now more access to affordable childcare than ever before!
Can you help us spread the word so families in your community know about these new childcare benefits in Washington by writing a quick Letter to the Editor in your local paper? I promise we’ve made it quick and easy!
What’s going on? Last year, thanks to the Fair Start for Kids Act, Washington State expanded eligibility to our state’s child care subsidy program making more families eligible than ever before! With the Fair Start for Kids Act, child care is more affordable for families and more sustainable for providers. We want to be sure all families benefit from these important changes and who better to do that than moms and families who know their local communities best.
One easy but impactful way to do that is to send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspaper. Letters to the editor are an incredibly powerful way to make sure families know about the childcare benefits available to them AND for our elected leaders to get the message that this program is critical for families. Families are reading their local papers to learn about what is happening in their communities. And Lawmakers are reading their local papers to get a sense of what matters to people in their community.
You can help make sure families know about FREE and low-cost child care in their communities and that elected leaders know childcare investments are important to WA families by sending a quick letter now!
***I promise we’ve made this super easy! We’ll lead you through a quick process to write your letter.
Just how big of a change is this for families?
For starters, families who earn at or below 60% of the State Median Income – for a family of four that’s $61,675 per year – now have access to child care assistance through the Fair Start for Kids Act. The Fair Start for Kids Act includes many policies that, collectively, will better serve our state’s children and families, including:
- Making child care more affordable: Expanding Working Connections Child Care (WCCC) assistance to serve more families.
- Reducing the financial burden of child care co-payments: Lessening, or eliminating, WCCC co-payments for families with low incomes and capping co-payments for all families receiving WCCC at no more than 7% of family income.
- Inviting more children to participate in preschool: Expanding the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) to provide comprehensive services to additional families in need.
- Providing urgently-needed relief for child care and preschool providers.
- Advancing racial equity in early learning through provider grants.
That's a big change for our littlest learners and can make such a difference for families across our state. Now we need to make sure all families know about and benefit from this public investment in our families and in our shared future and prosperity.
Together we are a powerful force for children and families in Washington!