Public Policy

Sullivan County Child Care Council’s Public Policy Statement 2013

Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman has written the Congressionally mandated Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction with a simple message. Invest in high-quality early education. It echoes the message Heckman conveyed in 2011 in a 12-page letter to the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Reform created by President Obama.

“The quality of our workforce is not what it should be and it is not improving. Budget deficits are created in large part by deficits in the skills of our workforce,” Heckman wrote in his recent three-page letter to the “Super Committee,” which is nearing the end of its tenure.

“Deficits in skills in early childhood area perpetuated and magnified throughout life. Current policies fail to properly recognize the life cycle dynamics of skill formation. The United States invests relatively little at the starting point – in early childhood development – and as a consequence pays dearly for this neglect at every point thereafter.

“Our country will be unable to compete in the global economy if it does not address the increasing numbers of children who are not prepared for success in school, career and life.”

The Sullivan County Child Care Council, Inc. is committed to ensuring every child has access to a quality, affordable child care program. To that end we at the Council offer high quality trainings, both classroom and in home, to our child care professionals.

We Support:

Quality Stars NY: Quality Stars NY is a star rating and improvement system created to drive current and future state investments toward quality improvements in early learning programs, a strategic approach to ensuring both public and private dollars are used most effectively and efficiently to promote better outcomes for children. The Council has designed our trainings and ITA projects so that providers will be well positioned when QSNY is implemented in Sullivan County. Long term educational achievement is uniformly linked to participation in high quality early care and education.

Quality child care > yields a higher return on our investment in child care > supports our economic development > provides a foundation for a better prepared and qualified workforce.

Regulated Child Care: Statistics show that support and frequent visits produce higher quality programs. In line with these statistics the state is now requiring visits to regulated programs at minimum four times per year.

Children who start behind stay behind. However, children with a high-quality early learning experience have an advantage. They are 40% less likely to need remedial services, 30% more likely to graduate from high school, and 200% more likely to go on to college. We educate families about high-quality care and help them find it; support low-income families to access the financial resources for child care, recruit and train new child care providers; offer providers technical assistance; and encourage government, business leaders and the public to support the expansion of high-quality services.

Our Involvement

Because of our commitment to quality care, the Child Care Council is a member of the Early Care and Learning Council (ECLC) and the National Association of Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). These organizations are leaders in state and national early care and education advocacy efforts.


Current Advocacy Messages and Agendas

Early Care and Learning Council 2013 Public Policy Agenda in Brief
The Early Care and Learning Council believes that investments in early childhood have both short and long term economic benefits for our state, its families, and current and future workforce.

Early Care and Learning Council Public Policy Agenda

National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)
The poor state of the economy is hurting millions of Americans. Working families with children depend on child care to get and keep a job. More than 11 million children under age 5 are in the care of someone other than their mother. Millions more school age children are in after-school programs. Child care often is difficult to find, especially for infants and toddlers. It is challenging to afford and of questionable quality. NACCRRA’s public policy agenda is both grassroots-inspired and research-based. NACCRRA recommends that Congress; reauthorize and strengthen Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG), increase the CCDBG quality set-aside, require accountability for CCDBG funds, ensure affordable child care for families, strengthen rural child care, limit potentially unsafe license-exempt care, and make child care part of disaster planning.

NACCRRA Public Policy Agenda


Child Care Public Policy Reports

Early Childhood Education: Frozen Funding Leads to Cracks in the Foundation
A report by Alliance for Quality Education, Citizen Action NY, and Winning Beginning NY

The report details how funding for the Universal Pre-Kindergarten grant has been reduced drastically since 2007, despite being proven to increase the likelihood of a child going to college, earning higher income, and avoiding incarceration. The report makes the case for adding funding for pre-kindergarten and other early childhood education programs in the 2012-13 state budget.

Putting the Pieces Together New York Early Learning Program Data Systems
A report by National Center for Children in Poverty

This report shows that data collected by state and local agencies on young children and the programs serving them have enormous potential value. Families, service providers, policymakers, researchers, advocates and others can use these data to better understand children’s needs, improve access to services, strengthen services, enhance the efficiency of services, and understand the short- and long-term impacts of services.

We Can Do Better
A report from NACCRRA

More than 11 million children younger than age 5 spend an average of 35 hours a week in some type of child care setting. State child care licensing requirements govern the health, safety and learning opportunities for these children. State oversight requirements monitor compliance with state policies.

We Can Do Better: 2013 Update is the fourth in a series of reports beginning in 2007 that scores and ranks the states, including the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense (DoD) on 10 program requirements and five oversight benchmarks for child care centers. NACCRRA’s update found that states have made progress but more progress is needed.

The average score in 2012 was 92 out of a possible 150 points, 61% of all possible points (compared to 70 in 2007 and 83 in 2009). Using a standard grading scale, no state earned an A. The Department of Defense earned a B, and four states earned a C. Twenty-one states earned a D. Half of the states (26 states) earned a failing grade. While we should be pleased with the improvement among the states since 2007, an 87 equates to a score of 58 percent, a failing grade in any classroom in America.

Leaving Children to Chance
A report from NACCRRA

NACCRRA assessed state policies for small family child care homes, where up to six children are cared for in the home of the provider for compensation. The maximum number of points a state could receive is 140. Seventeen states scored a zero. Of the states that scored points, the average score was 63, which equates to 45 percent – a failing grade in any classroom. Family child care in the United States is characterized by weak state inspection standards, incomplete background checks, weak minimum education requirement for providers, weak training requirements, weak early learning standards and weak basic health and safety standards.


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