Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Early Childcare Educators Applaud Introduction of House Bill 2854 for Early Childhood Education Funding & Care


January 24, 2023

CHARLESTON, WV – Early childcare educators today celebrated the introduction of a House Bill 2853 which would improve funding for early childhood education and care. HB 2854 would help stabilize funding for childcare centers based on enrollment, not just attendance. It will have a hearing on Jan. 24 in the House Health Committee, and if approved, will head to the House Finance Committee.

“This measure is critical because childcare is essential for business and economic development, as well as workforce participation,” said Tiffany Gale a childcare provider, and founder and Director of Miss Tiffany’s Early Childhood Education House. “Without childcare we have little to no workforce. By directly supporting childcare programs, the state is directly supporting the West Virginia workforce.”

Presently, childcare centers receive funding for attendance rather than enrollment. This makes it difficult for childcare centers to plan from month to month, and it also makes it hard for them to serve families who may need subsidies.

“As an organizer alongside poor and marginalized folks, I know firsthand that HB 2854 will allow childcare centers to continue to serve families who receive childcare subsidies,” said Amy Jo Hutchison, executive director of Rattle the Wind. “We hear ‘pull yourself up by the bootstraps,’ but who can do that without safe, affordable, and accessible childcare options. I don’t want to see centers stop accepting subsidies, because that harms families who need help the most. But without state aid, providers don’t know what they’ll get from month to month. The system must be more equitable for private pay families and the families who use subsidies to access childcare.”

“The state that supports childcare is the state where businesses will want to come,” said Kristy Ritz, executive director of the West Virginia Association for Young Children. “Improving the childcare infrastructure creates new jobs, increases workforce participation, and boosts the economy. Childcare is an industry that supports all other industries.”


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