The Importance For Advocacy – NCCA director Cindy Lehnhoff met with CEO of Inspire Care 360, Tony D’Agostino

Recently, NCCA director Cindy Lehnhoff met with CEO of Inspire Care 360, Tony D’Agostino to discuss several key topics concerning childcare in America today.

The first item of importance is the need for advocacy. Cindy explains that “we” (those who work in and support child care) have always needed advocacy, but we need it now more than ever. What childcare lacks is a voice that has come together in the industry to speak up for themselves. Cindy has been a part of this industry for 40 years as a teacher, director, district manager, and vice president, and therefore has experience balancing quality and financial excellence and understands the NEED for this voice.

She explains that if we pulled together, the industry could be a part of putting in rules and regulations in place and ask for the funding to do it. When US Congress steps up and says that they are going to take the initiative to change something about childcare to make it high quality, they write bills and budgets, but they don’t actually take the time to “cost it out”. They don’t look at what it costs the industry, and rarely are practitioners brought to the table to give their opinions and present the reality of the situation.

For example, when it was decided that every licensed childcare center would do FBI fingerprinting, it put a lot of cost on providers. The fingerprinting itself is a good thing, but there should have been funding provided. In this industry, it often feels like lawmakers and institutional higher-ups don’t give the actual providers a say.

Cindy notes that legislators respond better if they hear from their constituents, their voters. Cindy is calling for advocacy at the national level. Most advocacy the providers are participating in is at the state level. Which is good, but states can only do so much. The federal government only provides so much support. Cindy believes we are not asking for the right things at the federal level as an industry, but the way it works is that you need money or a big voice to be heard. Our voice has to come together to accomplish more.

The rest of the webinar goes on to expand creating one ECE voice post COVID-19, what if we had been better prepared for Covid-19, and NCCA’s vision, mission, and values. To watch, please click here: