Early Care and Education

Diverse group of children sitting in front of teacher smiling

Families in Virginia should have access to a variety of affordable, high-quality early care and education opportunities. 

Child care allows parents to participate in the workforce but 74% of Virginia’s child care centers are experiencing staffing shortages. The lack of access to affordable child care keeps 68% of parents from working.

Accessible and affordable early education and child care helps families work and helps children learn. 

Parents have to pay too much for child care, and early childhood education professionals earn too little. To solve this dilemma, we need more public investment in a mixed-delivery system of early education and preschool that includes home-based providers, private child care centers, and public schools. We must also measurably improve compensation for early childhood professionals and provide more support for families needing infant and toddler care. Families need access to a variety of child care options to meet their needs. Providing financial assistance to families, investing in early care professionals and building a strong mixed-delivery system gives parents these choices.  

Our Priorities:

  1. Stabilize the child care sector with adequate funding to increase mixed-delivery grants to public/private early education settings and increase parent choice through the child care subsidy program.  
  2. Make the COVID-era changes to eligibility for the child care subsidy program permanent, including higher income eligibility, allowing for eligibility during job searches, and reducing/eliminating parent co-pays. 
  3. Improve access for young children with special educational and health care needs to a wide range of fully resourced child care options.  

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We currently participate in the following coalitions: Fund Our Schools, Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy, and Virginia Promise Partnership.

For more information, contact Allison Gilbreath.