We are fortunate to have many friends, leaders and policy makers in Northern Virginia who recognize the importance of investments in school readiness. This year, Voices helped to mobilize supporters during the local budget process with exciting results in Fairfax County and Alexandria. We are thankful for the support of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation Early Childhood Funders Collaborative and The Meyer Foundation for this work.
Final Report from Fairfax County
We are excited to report that the final Fairfax County budget includes investments in all of our asks and makes a significant step forward for School Readiness for NoVa! Together, we helped the Board of Supervisors connect the links of the critical components of school readiness.
The FY16 Fairfax County budget includes almost $2 million in new funding for early childhood initiatives as well as the restoration of almost $1 million in cuts to Healthy Families. Details include:
– A new $960,000 investment in school readiness services, including expanding school readiness activities in support of community programs serving young children; matching funds for an Early Head Start-Child Care Partnership grant; and increasing access to child care subsidy for low-income working families.
– An additional $1 million to increase the reimbursement rates for child care subsidy to bring rates to the same level as the state funding.
– An additional $150,000 to open two new school-age child care spaces.
– An improvement to the School Age Child Care sliding fee scale to make before- and after-school care more affordable to more families.
– PLUS! The rejection of the proposed elimination of local funds for Healthy Families Fairfax.
Congratulations to all of our partners on the successful effort that will make a real difference for young children!
Fairfax Budget Action Resources
Fairfax budget hearing video Voices’ testimony at hour 3, minute 58! [MBST2]
Final Report from Alexandria
The City of Alexandria adopts their local budget the week of May 4th. The Council will likely vote to approve the budget on Thursday that includes support for school readiness services, including an additional $125,000 to support the implementation of the Children and Youth Master Plan.
Alexandria Budget Action Resources
Voices letter to Alexandria City Council
Contact information for the City Council members
Children and Youth Commission and Master Plan
News You Can Use:
Mind the Readiness Gap US News and World Report opinion piece by Governor McAuliffe, May 1, 2015
Fairfax Board Formally Adopts 2016 Budget that Leaves Schools Short Washington Post April 28, 2015
Arlington Passes Budget for Fiscal 2016 Without Raising the Property Tax Rate Washington Post April 21, 2015
Board May Restore Funding for Some Programs Fairfax Times April 17, 2015
Arlington to Boost School Budget, Spend More on Economic Development Washington Post April 17, 2015
Human Services Advocates Make Plea to Restore Funds Fairfax Times April 1, 2015
School Readiness for NoVa Action Opportunities Voices for Virginia’s Children March 24, 2015
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