When it comes to the issue of child care, there are many sides: parents should remain home and raise their children until school entry; parents should work to afford child care; not my problem – I don’t have children. Whichever position is yours, the children are the ones who stand the most to gain or lose from child care. With that being said, isn’t it reasonable to want all children to have access to quality care rather than substandard care?
The recently released The New America Care Report shows that in Alabama the average cost of care is $14,275 for one year for one child.
According to VOICES for Alabama’s Children 2015 Kids Count Data Book, the median annual household income in Alabama is $42,882. This means that Alabama families utilizing child care may spend as much as 33 percent of their income on child care alone, which is far higher than the 10 percent which economists recommend.
Addressing the connection between quality and affordability is complicated but fortunately in central Alabama, Childcare Resources offers a solution. Our Supplemental Child Care Program (SCCP) is designed to offset on average 20 to 30 percent of child care costs for eligible working families. Eligibility requirements and an application can be found on the Childcare Resources website: http://www.ccr-bhm.org/public/parents/financial-assistance/
The benefits of affordable child care include:
• Access to quality early learning environments which prepare children to enter school ready to learn and succeed
• Success in school which tends to increase attendance and graduation and enables a more productive adulthood
• Better students who develop into a better prepared workforce who contribute positively to our economy
• A stronger economy and healthier population which create more vibrant and attractive communities.
Regardless of your position on child care, it is the duty of all of us to support quality and affordable child care. SCCP is a one-of-a-kind program that exists due to a robust public-private partnership with various funders. To contribute to the mission of Childcare Resources, please click on the DONATE link at the top of our website www.ccr-bhm.org. Isn’t giving our children the best the least we can do for them?
A nonprofit 501(c)(3), United Way of Central Alabama partner agency established in 1984, Childcare Resources’ mission is to make quality care and education of children happen by providing information, education, and assistance to families, providers of child care and the community. The mission is achieved by:
• providing training to child care professionals in Blount, Jefferson, Shelby and Walker Counties
• assisting low-to-moderate income working families, who meet eligibility criteria, to pay for child care
• providing comprehensive child care information to families who are looking for child care options
• offering a Parent Education @ Work program, helping employees in their vitally important role as parents.
Childcare Resources is the only child care resource and referral agency in the south to hold National Quality Assurance for best practices from Child Care Aware of America.
For more information about Childcare Resources, visit www.ccr-bhm.org or call (205) 945-0018.