One Sentence News

Below are summarized recent ECE actions and updates. Click to learn more.

  1. Federal Update & Take Action

Now that we are past the debt ceiling crisis, Congress is now turning its attention to the annual appropriations process. House Republicans are already planning to introduce funding proposals even lower than the capped amounts in the debt ceiling agreement: “The one thing you’ve got to realize, whenever you put a cap, that’s the ceiling,” he said. “We can always spend less. I’ve always advocated for spending less money. Later, McCarthy put a finer point on it: “If we can write [spending bills] to even lower levels, then we should do it in the House.” More: Deeper spending cuts may be in play to break House deadlock – Roll Call

Congress must hear from families, providers, and advocates about the very real need for robust investments in child care and early learning.

Take Action

ATTEND/WATCH: The US Senate Finance Committee is hosting a hearing, Anti-Poverty and Family Support Provisions in the Tax Code, on Wednesday, June 14 at 10 am ET. Watch here. Witnesses include:

  • Amy K. Matsui, Senior Counsel and Director of Income Security, National Women’s Law Center
  • Melissa Lester, MomsRising Mom from Galloway, Ohio
  • Bruce Meyer, Ph.D., McCormick Foundation Professor, Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago
  • Grant Collins, President, Fedcap Inc.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or opportunities for collaboration.

  1. Brief – Expanding Access to Child Care Assistance Opportunities in the Child Care and Development Fund

From the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP):

Families nationwide are struggling with a lack of affordable and accessible child care. This was true prior to the pandemic and even more so as the sector recovers from the detrimental impacts. The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) program—the primary federal funding source for child care assistance—seeks to address access to affordable care for families with low incomes. Historically and presently, however, it has not been adequately funded, with only 1 in 6 eligible families receiving support in 2019. Complex and burdensome rules and requirements at the state level have made it even more challenging for families to access and retain child care assistance. This is especially true for families of color and families with low incomes. The child care and early education system was built on deeply rooted, structural racial and gender discrimination.  

In a new brief, CLASP lays out key ways to improve access to child care within the current CCDF program and recommends how state leaders can: (1) understand the federal guidance and flexibility within the CCDF regulations; (2) assess a range of policy considerations for state child care agencies; and (3) review promising strategies that different states have adopted to improve access. This brief includes opportunities across four main areas:  

  • Improving Information Access and Outreach
  • Simplifying the Application and Streamlining Eligibility
  • Increasing Affordability
  • Recruiting Providers Who Meet a Range of Family Needs

Despite funding constraints, state child care agencies can maximize their limited resources to equitably increase access to child care assistance programs nationwide. This brief will be a helpful tool to assist in the process.

  1. State Examples –  CSCCE launched the second year of the Bold on Early Educator Compensation Learning Community

From the Center for the Study of Child Care Employment (CSCCE):

In May, CSCCE launched the second year of the Bold on Early Educator Compensation Learning Community. Leaders from seven states met to share promising examples of states like Illinois using contracts and grants to programs to support compensation. We also learned that the need to support providers with the administrative burdens of application and reporting continues, as well as the need to ensure educators know what they are entitled to receive. In a discussion of raising subsidy rate reimbursements to providers, we heard about the importance of meeting the true cost of care, including adequate compensation, and the difficulty of filling funding gaps. We also discussed the urgent need for and challenges that arise when increasing educator access to benefits like health insurance, paid time off, and retirement.

Learning Community participants are committed to equity and centering educator voices. Though challenges and questions remain, this group is eager to learn together and translate learnings to action on compensation. Check out the project webpage for a list of participants and presentation content.

  1. Annual Children’s Week

From First Focus:

Each June, First Focus on Children hosts Children’s Week with a schedule of events aimed at urging Congress to better protect the health, safety, and well-being of America’s children. This year, Children’s Week shines a light on the challenges facing our children — challenges like hunger, homelessness, poverty, gun violence. But we must act in the best interests of our children each and every day. This year, beginning on June 11th — Children’s Day — we look forward to working with members of Congress and our partner advocates to make caring for our children the norm, not the exception. Our kids can’t wait any longer for adults to do right by them.

More resources and a schedule of events can be found here.

  1. Snapshot – Top Latino Metro Areas Saw Large Declines in Child Care Employment Early in the Pandemic, with Slow Recovery Among Latino Child Care Workers

From the National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families: 

Top Latino Metro Areas Saw Large Declines in Child Care Employment Early in the Pandemic, With Slow Recovery Among Latino Child Care Workers

The COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected employment across many occupations. The child care industry and child care workers were particularly hard hit, experiencing employment losses at the onset of the pandemic that surpassed overall employment declines in the United States for workers in all other occupations combined. The child care sector has also rebounded more slowly than other employment fields. To examine how one aspect of the sector—specifically, child care workers in Latino communities—fared during the pandemic and the subsequent recovery, we build on a recently published national analysis of the child care workforce from the University of Michigan’s Poverty Solutions. We focus here on metropolitan areas with high densities of Hispanic populations—defined as metropolitan areas in which more than 20 percent of residents identify as Hispanic, the majority of which are located across six states.

Our analysis found that unemployment rates among child care workers in high-Hispanic-density metropolitan areas increased more steeply at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and that unemployment rates among child care workers in these areas recovered more slowly than for workers in all other occupations combined. We also found that, in 2022, there were fewer Latino child care workers relative to the 2019 pre-pandemic baseline, especially in high-Hispanic density metropolitan areas. 

  1. Resource Series – Home-Based Child Care Supply and Quality (HBCCSQ) project

From Home Grown:

OPRE, Erikson Institute, and Mathematica have released a series of resources that look to fill gaps in the knowledge base of home-based child care. The analyses included in these reports were conducted as part of the Home-Based Child Care Supply and Quality (HBCCSQ) project.

  • A National Portrait of Unlisted Home-Based Child Care Providers: Caregiving Histories, Motivations, and Professional Engagement   → Download Resource  
  • A National Portrait of Unlisted Home-Based Child Care Providers: Learning Activities, Caregiving Services, and Children Served  → Download Resource  
  • A National Portrait of Unlisted Home-Based Child Care Providers: Provider Demographics, Economic Wellbeing, and Health  → Download Resource  

  1. Briefs – Centering families in early childhood systems

From Child Trends and Start Early:

Child Trends and Start Early have partnered to better understand how to build and support more equitable early childhood systems. In two new briefs, Northwestern University’s Maia Connors (formerly of Start Early) and Child Trends’ Katherine Paschall explore what it means for an early childhood system to be “family-centric” and how early childhood systems can better engage families. 

In the first brief, Connors and Paschall characterize a successful family-centric early childhood system as one that practices authentic and inclusive family engagement and results in positive, equitable, and supportive experiences for families. The authors suggest that early childhood leaders and families work together to determine what success looks like within their communities. In the second brief, Paschall and Connors examine the role of family engagement in developing family-centric early childhood systems. The authors explain four elements that are critical to strengthening families’ voices in family-centric early childhood systems: 

  • Stronger connections with grassroots community-based organizations 
  • Leadership dedication and capacity (i.e., leaders with the capacity and authority to change early childhood systems) 
  • Formalized ways of collecting, sharing, and using information 
  • Flexible funding to prioritize families’ engagement and voices 

These briefs, called Conversation Starters, are part of a series that aims to define a new framework for early childhood systems that center families’ experiences, and to raise key considerations and next steps for implementing the framework. 

Read more.

  1. Brief – State and Local Strategies to Strengthen Infant and Toddler Care During Pre-K Expansion

From New America:

State and Local Strategies to Strengthen Infant and Toddler Care During Pre-K Expansion 

A new brief released this week focuses on strategies for avoiding unintended consequences for infant and toddler care when expanding pre-K. I highlight policies put in place by Multnomah County (Oregon), Colorado, and Washington, DC, such as establishing an infant and toddler set-aside and growing the supply of licensed family child care providers. 

You can check out the full brief here.

  1. Webinar – Investing in Our Future: Using Economic Well-being Innovation to Create Systemic Change in Child Care

From The Asset Funders Network:

Investing in Our Future:

Using Economic Well-being Innovation to Create Systemic Change in Child Care

June 14th

10am PDT / 1pm EDT (60 minutes)

The last few years have clarified and highlighted the challenges our society faces around the provision of affordable quality child-care; home-based child care has been a bright spot during the pandemic demonstrating remarkable resilience and supporting critical services for families. Despite this, we know the sector is actively failing; parents can’t find and afford care and providers are going hungry and leaving the field. While dysfunction and inequity in this sector existed long before the pandemic they were deepened due to missed opportunities for catalytic federal policy change such those included in the Build Back Better package (permanent Child Tax Credit and child care entitlement). 

As we look to solutions which support child care providers, parents and the children there are opportunities to apply learning from the economic justice field to the care sector. 

Organizations around the country have supported a variety of direct cash payments to diverse populations around the country and now there are pilot programs involving child care providers.  This approach can be a powerful tool to address provider compensation but getting to the policy solution will take active, ongoing policy advocacy fueled by the outcomes of these programs. 

Join us to gain a deeper understanding of:

  • The need for and opportunities for connecting/integrating income supports + asset building opportunities for child care providers
  • How ongoing unrestricted cash supports are changing the financial health of home-based child care providers  
  • Longer-term policy solutions which advance both income + asset building supports
  • Philanthropy’s role in supporting these long-term policy solutions


  • Natalie Renew, Home Grown
  • Jessica Cafferty, King County
  • Alexandra Patterson, Home Grown
  • Krista Scott, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF)

Register here.

  1. Child Care and Early Learning in the News


Achieving Your Early Childhood Education Career Goals

Sitting down with pen and paper to write the vision for your early childhood education career can be intimidating. Where do you begin? Should it be a one-year plan? A five-year plan? Where should you start? And, once your goals have become more than an idea, how do you start making them real?

At ChildCare Education Institute (CCEI), we’re devoted to supporting early childhood educators like you meet and exceed your personal and professional development goals through online courses, certification programs and more.

That’s why we’ve compiled this how-to guide to help NCCA members like you set and accomplish your professional goals:

Start thinking of your end goal and work in reverse.

While it may seem unusual, beginning your planning at your end goal will help you strive towards making it to that goal post. Get specific about writing down your dream destination (e.g. owning my own center, becoming the lead teacher at a top childcare center). Put down as much detail as you can about that dream role. If you’re challenged by imagining that end goal, try detailing what your ideal day would look like in that future position. What kinds of tasks would you do? How will the course of the day differ from your average workday now? How are you feeling at the end of that day?

Take a ‘smart’ approach to your goals.

Once you have mapped out the general direction of your career, it’s time to nail down the steps to get there. From there, make each step into a goal that helps you navigate toward your eventual professional success. To determine whether the goals you’re setting can come to fruition and direct you toward your dream career, we recommend putting each one through the SMART test. That means asking yourself whether or not your goals are:

●   Specific: Is the goal clear and defined?

●   Measurable: Are there metrics that can serve as a benchmark when you’ve met your goal?

●   Achievable: Is your goal reasonable? If not, what needs to happen to make it attainable?

●   Relevant: Does it ladder up to your greater professional goals?

●   Time-Bound: Is there a target date tied to your goal? 

By setting SMART goals, you’ll help ensure you’ve set strategies that will result in success— and that will keep you motivated along your journey.

Write it down.

Studies show that people who cement their professional goals on paper are more likely to reach them, so take a moment to write down the SMART goals you’ve created. If you’ve got a personal planner or journal, denote the deadlines for your major goals, as well as reminders for when you should be at the halfway point. This will help you recall those goals and ensure you’re accountable as you secure each goal.

Seek support.

Whether it’s your manager, fellow teacher, spouse or friend, share your goals with someone else. Talk to them about what motivates you, how you want to accomplish your goals and when you want to reach the milestones. Then, ask if they can be your accountability partner along the way by checking in with you monthly, quarterly, etc. 

Revisit your goals often.

Career goals are not to be made and tucked away in your memories. Like all things in life, your professional goals can grow and change over time. Think about what you wanted in your career three years ago. Is that what you’re working toward today? Keeping that thought, schedule time to routinely and frequently revisit your goals. Are your priorities the same? If so, how are you progressing as far as your goal timeline? If you haven’t been hitting the benchmarks you planned to, think about what could be adjusted to make those attainable. Even if your goals and timeline are still the same, giving yourself the chance to revisit your plan can help motivate you even more.

A win is a win, so celebrate it.

As you work to accomplish each goal, be sure to take time to celebrate. The celebratory moment can range from something as simple as buying yourself an iced coffee or taking it up a few notches to pampering yourself with a massage or pedicure. By honoring your accomplishments, you’ll make note of the progress you’re making and feel more confident in completing the remaining steps.

One sure way to win in early childhood education is by earning your Child Development Associate (CDA) credential. The CDA is the most recognizable credential in our industry, and earning your CDA guarantees more marketability in our field and considerably more earning potential.

CCEI’s CDA program lets you build a professional foundation and strengthen your capabilities to prepare you for a career in ECE. After earning your CDA, take the next step towards earning a college degree to increase your earning power with StraighterLine’s five new ECE online college courses.

So what are you waiting for? Click HERE to complete their courses today to go further in achieving your ultimate career goal!

Supporting Children Through Trauma

Gun violence is an epidemic in the United States leaving a trail of devastation in its wake, the effects of which are incalculable. During these times of extreme sorrow, it is imperative that we come together and support the children, educators, families, and communities impacted directly. 

Here are some ways to show your support:

Show empathy and offer support: If you know someone who has been affected by gun violence, it’s important to show them empathy and offer support. Listen to their concerns, acknowledge their feelings, and offer to help in any way you can.

Provide resources: There are many resources available to help those affected by gun violence. Share information about counseling services, support groups, and other resources that may be helpful.

Advocate for gun safety: Advocate for policies that promote gun safety, such as background checks, waiting periods, and red flag laws. Encourage lawmakers to take action to prevent gun violence.

Support organizations: There are many organizations that work to prevent gun violence and support those affected by it. Consider supporting these organizations through donations or volunteering.

Raise awareness: Use your platform to raise awareness about the impact of gun violence on children, educators, families, and communities. Share stories of those affected, and encourage others to take action to prevent gun violence.

More Helpful Resources:

Utilize the resources provided in our to take action and lend your hands and hearts in support. It’s important to remember that healing from the trauma of gun violence can take time.

Be patient, be supportive, and be there for those who need.

HiMama Webinar Blog & Recording

Featuring NCCA Director, Cindy Lehnhoff discussing advocacy in the early learning space and why the voices of early learning professionals matter now more than ever. To learn more on how to be an effective advocate for early childhood education, click here!