Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.Marian Wright Edelman
EARLY CHILDHOOD ADVOCACY DAY
MAY 8, 2019
411 Legislative Avenue
Join us to deliver key messages of support for Elected Officials! Wear yellow to raise awareness!
Be an informed and active early learning advocate! Your voice is needed!
The earliest years of a child’s life are a crucial time for learning and right now is a crucial time for each of us to advocate for the future of our children. We need fellow educators, providers, parents, and early education supporters to come together to demand that our nation's policies catch up with the science about the importance of brain development and the benefits of investing in high-quality early learning.
Last year the funding for Delaware’s earliest learners was reduced, while programs continue to enter and move up in the Delaware Stars Program (the State’s quality rating system) and more children qualify for Purchase of Care funding. Our needs continue to grow and studies show that the best return is when we invest early – not later.
We also need to ensure that high quality centers have skilled, degreed teachers and that they receive a fair compensation for the important work they do every day.
IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT CHILD CARE RATES
- Tuition (private pay, Purchase of Care and Purchase of Care+) does not cover the costs of childcare, especially in 5-STAR centers. At St. Michael’s, the most that it covers is 72% for some classrooms.
- POC rates have not been raised in years. The current rate is based on 85% of the market rate from 2011. We had anticipated an increase in April but that has been postponed indefinitely.
- St. Michael’s has had to raise private pay tuition rates significantly over the past few years, but still remain at the low-middle range of center rates. We keep a close eye on market rates and try to stay as low as we are able while still offering quality care and competitive pay for staff.
- As research drives the need to increase quality, costs will continue to rise.
HOW YOU CAN GET INVOLVED
1) Call, write or email your Elected Officials and let them know that Delaware needs to prioritize early childhood funding in next year’s budget.
You can find your state Elected Officials HERE to contact them.
We believe strongly that Early Childhood Care and Education needs to be supported in similar ways to K-12 education. If you agree that quality care should be available to all children and families and should not so heavily impact the financial stability of families, please let your legislators know!
Quality early childhood education (ECE) is one of the best investments the state can make. Sustainable sources of revenue need to be directed to help our children and our future workforce. Economists estimate the return on investing in quality, early learning at 7-10% per year leads to better outcomes in education, health, economic productivity, sociability and reduced crime.
Advocacy for Delaware’s young children is vital. Nearly 40% of Delaware’s children, birth to age 5, live below the poverty line which directly impacts their ability to be successful learners. Therefore, it is not surprising that 7 out of every 10 children in Delaware are not ready for the transition to kindergarten. These statistics should be an alarm about the long term educational impact for these learners.
The state needs to increase the reimbursement rate that a provider like St. Michael’s receives for children using Purchase of Care. This rate is currently so low (85% of the 2011 market rate) that we may not be able to sustain long term care for children who receive Purchase of Care without an increase and without ongoing, additional fundraising efforts to help maintain our 5-Star quality while making care affordable for families.
2) Invite a Legislator to St. Michael’s or other centers to learn more.
3) Stay informed of national issues and legislation. Find out more HERE.
4) Join St. Michael’s mailing list and stay up-to-date on important issues affecting our center and Delaware’s early learners. Sign up HERE.