Why we should all care about child care
As a retired early childhood educator, I know how important it is for young children and their families to have stable, accessible, affordable high-quality child care. When that happens, parents can enter and remain in the workforce.
On Friday, April 19, I participated in a Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) Week of Action event with 18 home visitors and parents of young children from the Cedar Rapids area. We viewed a shortened version of “No Small Matter,” a documentary that is being screened across Iowa and the nation. No Small Matter explores the most overlooked, underestimated, and powerful force for social justice in America today: early childhood education. It lays out overwhelming evidence for the importance of the first five years, reveals how our failure to act on that evidence has resulted in a crisis for American families, and a slow-motion catastrophe for our country. Following the viewing, group members shared reactions to the film as well as their own personal stories. They also insisted that others should be watching this meaningful and relevant documentary, to understand the crisis.
That is why I’m encouraging Sen. Joni Ernst, Sen. Chuck Grassley, and Rep. Abby Finkenauer to increase funding for the Federal Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), which helps low- and middle-income families afford high-quality care. Child care is an investment for the current and future workforce as well as an important infrastructure support, like roads, schools, and utilities.