A MESSAGE FROM OUR DIRECTOR
VDOE ADVANCES CHILD CARE SUBSIDY CHANGES
This month, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) continued their work on two key changes to current policy in Virginia's Child Care Subsidy Program. These new updates to provider reimbursement rates and the copayment scale for parents of children in the subsidy program aim to (1) ensure providers receive funding necessary to provide high-quality services for families as well as (2) make public child care more accessible and affordable for parents.
In order to improve the provider reimbursement rate process, VDOE developed a new cost estimation model that allows the Department to more accurately calculate the “true cost” to deliver quality care and education for different child care programs. With the ability to more accurately calculate the true cost of care, VDOE will be able to adjust reimbursement rates so that participating providers have the resources to deliver quality care and education while offering competitive compensation for their staff. These changes to reimbursement rates are set to go into effect October 1, 2022. A summary of these changes can be found here.
Meanwhile, changes to the copayment scale will adjust the amount families participating in the subsidy program are responsible for paying. These changes - which propose a simpler, more streamlined copayment scale based on a flat monthly per-child rate - aim to reduce financial burdens for families and promote consistency with other publicly-funded programs. Changes to the copayment scale are set to go into effect January 1, 2023. A summary of these changes can be found here.
More information about these proposed changes can be found through the VDOE's website here.
MEMBER ORGANIZATIONS HOST ECE EXECUTIVE BRIEFING
Partnership member organizations the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation and the Virginia Chamber Foundation hosted the 9th Annual Executive Briefing on the Economics of Early Childcare this month in Richmond.
This year's event featured a keynote address from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University’s Director, Dr. Jack Shonkoff. Dr. Shonkoff's presentation focused on the science behind adversity and resilience in young children, and how to leverage these insights to strengthen early childhood development.
Following keynote remarks, PNC Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer Richard Bynum moderated an Employer Innovations panel with remarks from Smithfield Foods Vice President of HR Manufacturing Excellence Jason Aseniero and Lawrence Brothers Incorporated President Melanie Protti-Lawrence. Aseniero and Protti-Lawrence underscored the detrimental impact that widespread lack of access to quality child care has had on their workforce as well as the importance of investing in our child care system in order to support not only families, but Virginia's economic growth and prosperity.
The event further illustrated that investing in early care and education is key to making Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family!
Did you know the Partnership has a podcast called Promise Insider focused on child care and early childhood education advocacy in Virginia?
Subscribe and listen today through Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or Spotify to hear from experts and learn how we can give children the future they want, need and deserve!
PROVIDER AND PARENT CORNER
This month, one of our all-star Promise Advocates and Parent Advisory member, Michele Lester, attended Partnership member organization Save the Children Action Network’s (SCAN) Annual Advocacy Summit in Washington, D.C. alongside hundreds of fellow advocates.
"During the summit, we heard from early childhood experts about the importance of investing in a child’s earliest years. Those crucial years – starting at birth – are the most important in ensuring children are set up for success in school and in life. And what could be more important?" explained Michele.
"That’s why I was so excited to meet with my lawmakers on Capitol Hill to urge them to reauthorize funding for the life-changing Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) and the Farm Bill. These programs' benefits are far-reaching, enabling families and children vital supports to ensure kids get the absolute best start in life."
Thank you to Michele for her incredible advocacy and dedication as well as SCAN for their membership and support!
The Partnership's Provider Advisory met earlier this month to discuss the latest updates on Partnership advocacy efforts, feedback on the Virginia Department of Education's Child Care Subsidy Program manual, and the role of the Advisory moving forward, among other topics. We are so grateful for this amazing group of providers and the critical perspectives they share to help inform and shape the Partnership's work.
BECOME A PROMISE ADVOCATE!
If you haven't already, please consider joining us as a Promise Advocate - your efforts can create lasting change for our children and communities! Already joined? We need your help spreading the word. Please share with a family member, friend or colleague!
For details, visit vapromisepartnership.com!
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