Many of our systems that care for children have been underfunded for many years. Because we have trained many early childhood educators we have heard their frustrations, their shortage of resources and their sense of incapability in caring for children. They all know that they could do more if they were appreciated and had more resources.
The Hechinger Report just published an article by Nonie Lesaux, Stephanie Jones and Emily Wiklund Hayhurt that describes the state of early childhood education during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is significant opportunity under the new administration for what can happen to improve our care for our children. Here are a few quotes from the article.
Last week, President-elect Joe Biden announced he would seek to expand the child tax credit and make a $40 billion investment in child care as part of a broader Covid relief and recovery package. He invited Americans to imagine how a stronger “caregiving economy” could help enhance our nation’s security, promote family well-being and ensure child care providers have access to the “pay and dignity that they deserve.”
We applaud the Biden administration for taking this important and profound first step toward investing in children’s early experiences and education, a key mechanism for strengthening the economy and improving the lives of American families.
It couldn’t come at a more urgent time for millions of our fellow citizens who need access to better, more affordable child care. Now, with Biden’s inauguration imminent, the longer-term planning, case-making and implementation work must also begin. Support for early education and care can’t stop at critical, short-term financial relief. Our full participation in work and community life, children’s healthy development and the economy’s success will depend on the effective execution of a comprehensive, forward-facing early education and care agenda….
Critically, the Biden administration can also learn from a long history of presidential agendas and ambitions in this domain —many of which have fallen short of their promise because of key pitfalls. Here, we examine these pitfalls with an eye toward a strong path forward.
The article continues to look at some of the past pitfalls of other administrations regarding what has been happening in the early childhood world. Perhaps after years of inadequate resources some progressive and creative options can be brought to the challenging endeavors of childcare for thousands of children. It is a new opportunity that our country can capitalize on if we make the commitment and provide the resources.