Moms to Congress: Help Us Build Strong Families
December 1, 2010
MomsRising Members Deliver Building Blocks to Encourage Investment in Child Care
Moms and children today delivered building blocks to Members of Congress to encourage them to support an important building block for families – early child care and education. The building blocks, inscribed with the message “Early Care and Education Builds Strong Families,” were delivered with a book of stories and messages from parents across the country encouraging Congress to investment in the early learning and child care programs they depend on. The delivery was organized by MomsRising, and online and on-the-ground grassroots organization with more than one million members advocating for public policies that improve the lives of America’s families and help ensure family economic security.
Nearly 12 million children under age five regularly spend time in childcare arrangements, but it’s a patchwork system with variable standards and finding care is tricky and expensive. Yet, quality preschool and early learning programs are crucial – more than 85 percent of a child’s core brain structure is formed by age five.
“We’re seeing increasing numbers of families where both parents need to work to make ends meet,” said MomsRising Executive Director Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. “Those working parents need safe and enriching places for their children to be during the work day, and it shouldn’t cost them an entire paycheck to enroll your child in child care. There are too few options available for dedicated parents who need early learning opportunities for their children.”
MomsRising generated the messages for the book through a series of e-outreaches to its members. The messages include stories about memorable experiences with childcare, preschool or early learning – good, bad, funny and sad. Among them:
My oldest daughter is a product of participating in Head Start. She is an advanced diploma honor high school graduate, honor college student, full-time employee, volunteer with various community projects… active church member, as well as a youth motivational speaker. She participated in a Head Start Program for two years, our family encountered an extremely positive educational and supportive experience. She really enjoyed the caring/nurturing, cognitive and social/emotional development; for more than fifteen years later, she remembered her teacher's name… I am proud that my daughter's teacher had such a positive impact on her at age three and four that she would remember her full name.
-- Angela, Alabama
I'm in the process of trying to find affordable health care for my 2 children while I go back to work full time and go to school part time. At this point, I am at a loss, because for both of them to go to daycare will cost almost my entire paycheck per week. I can't afford to NOT go back to work, and I can't afford TO go back to work. What is someone like me, who is trying to build a better life and future for her children supposed to do??
-- Kelliann, Connecticut
I'm a single mother with two kids under 3, a full-time student, and working, so I don't have much time to write. But I have to tell whoever is willing to listen that the daycare subsidy I receive has saved my life. I'm able to go back to school to get the kind of job that will help me afford to support the three of us on my own and I'm secure in the knowledge that my children are well-cared for and developmentally stimulated while I can't be with them. They will be ready for school right when I finish and together I see us accomplishing great things. None of this would be possible without that subsidy. It is our lifeline and I thank god for it every day. Please don't take that away.
-- Nan, Washington