PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A broad coalition of 40 child care providers, advocates, and community organizations have co-signed a letter urging Governor Dan McKee and the General Assembly to immediately utilize American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to help working families access reliable, affordable, quality child care.
“Rhode Island’s child care system is in crisis mode due to the combination of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and a severe worker shortage that is forcing many providers to reduce hours, close classrooms, and shutter programs” said Lisa Hildebrand, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children (RIAEYC). “When providers have to reduce hours or close programs, it creates chaos for working families who have to scramble to find alternative child care options, increases waitlists, and reduces the overall number of child care seats available across Rhode Island. That is why RIAEYC, along with a broad coalition of child care providers, advocates, and community organizations are calling on Governor McKee and the General Assembly to immediately utilize ARPA funds so more families can get help to pay for child care and to help our child care sector attract and retain staff. A reliable, quality, child care system is essential for parents to work, for businesses to employ parents, and for our state’s economic rebound.”
Specific investments and policy changes called for in the letter include:
- Help more families pay for care by increasing the family income limit for a child care subsidy.
- Help child care programs compete for staff without increasing family fees.
- Stop the brain drain of qualified child care educators.
- Provide support to maintain and increase access to infant/toddler care for families with a subsidy.
- Pass the Early Educator Investment Act.
The following child care providers, advocates, and community organizations co-signed the letter to Governor McKee and the General Assembly. The letter is available here.
Beautiful Beginnings Child Care Center
Center for Early Learning Professionals
Center for Southeast Asians
Child & Family
Community Provider Network of Rhode Island
Comprehensive Community Action Inc.
Connecting for Children and Families
Dr. Daycare/Kids Klub
Economic Progress Institute
Family Service of Rhode Island
Federal Hill House
Hamlet Learning Center
Latino Policy Institute
LISC Rhode Island
Newport County YMCA
Ocean Community YMCA
Over the Rainbow Learning Center
Parents Leading for Educational Equity
Planned Parenthood of Southern New England
Reach Out and Read Rhode Island
Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health
Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children
Rhode Island Child Care Directors Association
Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Rhode Island Head Start Association
Rhode Island KIDS COUNT
Rhode Island NOW
Rhode Island Parent Information Network
Rhode Island Working Families Party
SEIU Education and Support Fund
United Way of Rhode Island
Women’s Fund of Rhode Island
YMCA of Pawtucket
YMCA of Greater Providence
YWCA Rhode Island