Children First’s Report Series on COVID’s Impact on Children – READ THE COUNTY REPORTS HERE

Vote for Child Care – Nov 4, 2022

 

Vote Like Child Care Matters Because It Really Does

We couldn’t say it better than Marissa Christie, President & CEO of the United Way of Bucks County. Here is her recently published commentary in the Bucks County Courier Times on why child care is a critical election issue. 

My daughter started Kindergarten in September. She is – to put it mildly – having the time of her life. 

She loves everything. Her teacher? Hilarious! School library? Kitten books galore! Her classmates? A big bunch of “bucket fillers”! (If you’re not familiar with this metaphor, ask a teacher or student to explain it to you.)

She is fortunate to attend a great elementary school. She is equally fortunate to have graduated from a high-quality Pre-K program. We see the benefits of that experience every day. 

And while she spent the past two years preparing for Kindergarten, I could go to work knowing that my daughter was in a safe and nurturing environment.  

Unfortunately, that is not how things work for many Bucks County families. Access to quality, affordable early education and care has always been a problem. Today, it is worse than many of us could have predicted – and I don’t think we have even hit rock bottom yet. 

Last month, the advocacy group Children First put out a report outlining COVID’s impact on Bucks County kids. In Bucks, they found that “since the start of the pandemic, child care supply… has decreased 15%.” Our community lost 46 local providers and a staggering 540 child care workers. 

Across the board, our remaining sites are struggling. One major issue is the gap between what families can afford to pay versus what providers need to pay to attract and retain qualified staff. In many cases, these educators and caregivers are earning 30% less than they would be working in retail or food service.

We can and we must do better. 

Some people may see this as an issue that only impacts people with young kids, but it impacts all of us. When parents can’t get to work, there is a financial impact on our entire community. When kids don’t enter Kindergarten ready to learn, there is a financial impact on our entire community. 

Our families – and our entire community – rely on access to early care and education to thrive.
Like most people, I am inundated with political mailers right now. There are many important issues to consider. Child care is one of them. 

There are consequences, now and in the future, when we fail to view this as a community-wide issue. 

If you are not sure where your candidates stand on early education and child care, ask them, or visit childrenmatteractionfund.org

As a parent, an employer, and someone who cares deeply about the health, wealth, and prosperity of our community, I will vote like child care matters because it really does. I hope you will do the same.

Make sure child care is a top priority in the current federal budget negotiations. Our families and our economy need affordable child care to recover. Send a message to your U.S. delegation here.

“What ‘educational benefits’ are delivered by diversity initiatives?”

Asked by skeptical Supreme Court Justice Thomas, a longstanding opponent of Affirmative Action.

Children, teens, and families in Chester County were deeply affected by COVID – calls to Safe2Say spiked 18%, child care supply dropped 25% – and the harm still lingers. Lawmakers must act now!

Read and share our latest county report, COVID’s Impact on Chester County Children, to learn how to help Chester County children and teens heal. 

Frances Sheehan, Foundation of Delaware
County President and Children First Board
Treasurer, was named 2022 Citizen of the
Year by the Delaware County Chamber
of Commerce
.
She’s also been recognized by
City and State as one of the state’s
Top 100 Nonprofit Leaders. Congrats Frances!