Prioritize Funding for the Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program
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Prioritize funding for Louisiana Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP)
Join voters, businesses, and legislators that agree that affordable, quality early care and education is an essential foundation for a productive workforce and economy in our state. It is critical the state continues to invest in its early care and education system in order to ensure the success of its most vulnerable children and families.
Dear Legislative Leaders and Budget Chairs,
Thank you for strongly supporting early childhood education and care during the state budget negotiations of the last few years. The Legislative and Senate leaders, worked hard to reach agreements with the Administration for current and future investments, and we urge lawmakers to remain committed to your efforts to stabilize and strengthen early learning programs across the state.
Voters, businesses, and legislators agree that affordable, quality child care is an essential foundation for a productive workforce and economy in our state. While we acknowledge the fiscal uncertainties facing Louisiana in the coming years, it is critical the state continues to invest in its early care and education system in order to ensure the success of its most vulnerable children and families.
The Childcare Association of Louisiana, along with the City of Natchitoches, would like to garner your support in urging to fund the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Wait list.
The Child Care Assistance Program is a federal program designed to provide financial assistance to help support low income families to access high quality child care, while they are working and/or attending school for at least 20 hours per week. CCAP currently serves more than 17,000 Louisiana children.
The Louisiana Department of Education established a wait list for families effective July 1, 2017. Currently 3,994 children are on the waiting list for child care assistance. (UPDATE AS OF MARCH 8, 2018- Louisiana Department of Education released an updated spreadsheet showing an additional 569 children were added in February of 2018 alone. The new total is now 4,563 children on the CCAP Waitlist) These families are eligible for assistance. However, they are not being served due to the lack of funding for CCAP.
Families can still apply for CCAP, but once their application is approved, they are placed at the bottom of the waiting list. To view how many Louisiana families and children are being served by CCAP and how many are on the waitlist, visit https://www.louisianabelieves.com/early-childhood/child-care-assistance-program
Prior to the establishment of the waiting list, Louisiana served 18,195 children through CCAP - 13,765 of whom were under the age of five. By November 2017, the total number of children covered by CCAP dropped to 15,985, with only 12,542 children under the age of five. Many families on the waitlist have waited to receive funding for early childhood education since July 2017. This has impacted them negatively in many ways such as receiving inadequate childcare for children, lack of academic opportunities, employment attendance, and overall peace of mind that their children are receiving quality academic care while they are working or attending school.
Over the past eight years, the CCAP budget has been cut by 70%
Reports have shown families unable to afford quality child care has 14 % parents have turned down a promotion because of child care issues; 18.5 percent went from full-time to part-time work; 16 percent had to quit their job, and more than 40 percent had to miss work or leave early during a 90-day period. The Louisiana economy loses more than $1 billion a year in productivity.
Let’s urge state lawmakers to fund the Child Care Assistance wait list today. Visit http://www.legis.la.gov/legis/FindMyLegislators.aspx to identify your state lawmakers.
We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens of Louisiana who urge our leaders to act now and prioritize the CCAP Wait list and/or find additional funding to help financially support the 4,563 families on the current wait list.
In addition to signing please ask employers, family members, friends, or any parents regardless if receiving CCAP funding or not to please take the time to sign this petition to help families afford quality child care.
The signers below are committed to working with you to make these requests a reality. Please contact us with your requests for child care data, costs, legal and policy analysis, and technical assistance. Thank you for your continued leadership.
Childcare Association of Louisiana and the City of Natchitoches
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