July Action Alert: It’s Time to Provide Adequate Child Care in Massachusetts
“We are on the verge of a major victory and the achievement of the first phase of the Common Start vision. Now is the time to make our voices heard and push hard for the affordable, accessible early education child care system we know is possible!”
Common Start Coalition: The Common Start Agenda
To begin the process of providing adequate Childcare in Massachusetts, we must pass the child care bill H.4795/S.2883, An Act to Expand Access to High-Quality, Affordable Early Education and Care, by the end of July.
Please promote the support of this bill by writing your legislators. Here is a link to find your Massachusetts legislators. A second draft letter is below.
I am writing to urge you to pass comprehensive early education and child care reform legislation, Bill H.4795/S.2883, by the end of the current legislative session. The early education and child care system in Massachusetts is in crisis. Children are in danger at home alone, or with unsupervised caregivers. They may be hungry and homeless because the parent(s) cannot leave them for work.
H.4795/S.2883, titled An Act to Expand Access to High-Quality, Affordable Early Education and Care, was approved by the Massachusetts Education Committee in May and would establish a framework for delivering increased access to early education and childcare to Massachusetts families in the next several years.
The bill’s framework uses a combination of direct-to-provider operational funding and ongoing family financial assistance to reduce costs to families while compensating providers for the true cost of providing quality care, including higher educator salaries.
The combination of H.4795/S.2883 with the proposed House and Senate budgets, if enacted by both chambers in the final budget, would implement a high-quality early education and child care system that is affordable and accessible for all families. Please speak to your legislative colleagues about bringing H.4795/S.2883 to the floor for a vote now.
Also please support these two modest additions to the bill that are outlined below:
(1). Ensure that early education and child care for families with incomes at or below the federal poverty level are fully subsidized without parent fees. Also see that there are sliding scale fees for low-income families whose fees are not fully subsidized. These fees shall be determined by applying a sliding fee scale to the remainder of the family’s income after deducting 100% of the federal poverty level. This would make a permanent fee schedule and ensure that very low-income families receive affordable child care when their salaries are slightly above the federal poverty level.
(2). Consider provider capacity in operational grant formula. Ensure that the bill’s formula for distributing operational grants to programs considers the provider’s capacity to enroll more children above their current enrollment. Due to the pandemic, many providers have higher capacity to serve children than their current enrollment allows. Additional funding to pay educators, based on capacity, would allow providers to serve more children.
PLEASE support H.4795/S.2883.
Thank you for your consideration.