April 30, 2021

Child Care Aware of Washington Statement On President Biden’s Universal Preschool Plan

The early childhood investments included in President Biden’s American Families Plan have the potential to be transformative for America’s children, families and child care providers. The United States has long lagged other developed countries in our investments in families and children, particularly our youngest children. The American Families Plan has the potential to move us forward, at last.

In Washington State, our child care and early learning system has invested for years in a robust quality improvement program so that licensed child care programs deliver what many used to consider separate “preschool” services. In quality child care programs, play-based early learning happens every day, all day, so that parents and guardians can work while their youngest children are safe and learning in nurturing environments.

Child Care Aware of Washington urges the Biden administration to consider that traditional preschool that operates only a few hours per day will not meet the needs of a majority of American families, most of whom have all adults working. Working families need quality, reliable, full-day, year-round child care in their communities that emphasizes early childhood education and social-emotional learning.

We highly recommend that full-day, full year universal preschool options should be offered through the existing licensed child care system. In cases where programs also serve children ages 0 – 3 there should be additional investment so that families can find care for all children under the age of 5 in the same program. A free, universal system of care for preschool age children should not pull those children from existing child care programs to be cared for in a single preschool-focused system making it difficult for families with multiple children to get their care needs met in one place. Child care for infants and toddlers is more expensive to provide and is already the most difficult to find. Removing “preschool” to another system of delivery will further erode access to 0 – 3 care because preschool income frequently subsidizes 0 – 3 financial losses.

Additionally, many child care small businesses are owned and directed by women of color. These small businesses are often sources of essential support to working parents in their communities. Pulling preschool-aged children from these licensed programs to a new, free system would devastate these small businesses, causing unintended harm to a BiPOC economic sector that has already experienced a disproportionate share of economic losses due to the pandemic.

A majority of Washington’s child care programs have stayed open to provide care to frontline workers during the pandemic; we cannot leave them behind if a free universal preschool option results in moving the children they care for to another program. We welcome investments and actions that will allow America to increasingly become a country where all children and families are valued and provided with the opportunities that meet their real-life challenges of balancing work and family life.

April 29, 2021

Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is May 7

Child Care Provider Appreciation Day is Friday, May 7. This year it is especially important to let your provider know how much you appreciate them and the essential work they do.

There are many ways to thank your provider and show your appreciation. Here are a few ideas:

  • Have your child make them a special card or a poster
  • Drop off a meal
  • Give a gift card
  • Bring a special treat
  • Write a nice note

Child care providers work very long days, and often are not compensated well. During the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, providers have been working extra hard supporting their communities, providing nurturing care to children during challenging times, helping school-age children with remote learning, following new health and safety guidelines and teaching children how to stay physically distanced, all while facing the risk of exposure to the virus. Please make sure to let your provider know how much you appreciate all they do for your child and family. After all, what would you do without them?


Employers – what would your employees who are parents do without child care? Share this letter with them to remind them to appreciate their child care provider on May 7, Child Care Provider Appreciation Day. Thank you!

April 21, 2021

Child Care Aware of Washington Statement on Verdict of Derek Chauvin Trial in George Floyd’s Murder

Yesterday’s announcement of a guilty verdict on all counts in the Derek Chauvin trial for the murder of George Floyd is the culmination of a year of racial reckoning in our country.  A year filled with continued racist and, often violent, acts and events against Black people in our communities. Child Care Aware of Washington feels the impact, the call to action and the significance this trial’s verdict has for all of us and especially for the work we do.  We believe it is essential that we pull together and truly listen and learn from communities of color and particularly the Black community who are targeted and exposed by these events.

As we move forward, Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA) commits to find ways we can support and take action to address the impacts of racism with Washington’s children.  We are committed to work with today’s young children and those who care for them to create spaces where children and their caregivers feel safe and their identities are fully embraced and celebrated. CCA of WA will provide support and coaching centered in our collective racial equity learning so that children and their caregivers have a clear understanding that racism is wrong and know how to address it.  We will take action to systematically eradicate racism in our early learning spaces.  We will do this by listening to those we serve so we understand how we can support and ensure the inclusion of the entire community during this time and always. At the core of our support is our desire and ability to build supportive relationships with families, caregivers, and child care providers who are helping children, especially children of color, navigate trauma from this racist incident, racially-driven police violence, and other racist acts. We have developed a list of resources as a start. Our goal is a world where racism is eradicated and we believe beginning with the early years will have significant impact.

While the verdict is a huge win in the moment, there is still much we need to do to address all the others who have paid the same price in the past and to ensure that justice for all becomes a reality.  Our children deserve a better tomorrow.  Today and on all days, we stand in solidarity.    

“A reminder that victory would be George Floyd being alive.  Every day Black Americans worry if they will be next is another day without justice.”  ~Amanda Gorman