PARTNERSHIP ATTENDS AES FEDERAL ADVOCACY DAY
This month, a group of our dedicated Promise Advocates traveled to Washington, D.C. for a two-day advocacy event hosted by the Alliance for Early Success (AES). Advocates, representing both the Partnership's Parent and Provider Advisories, met with the offices of six Virginia members of Congress. Partnership representatives also joined fellow child care advocates from across the country to speak with senior policy advisors at the White House about the early learning landscape in the Commonwealth.
Over the course of the two-day event, our Promise Advocates had the opportunity to share their unique experiences and perspectives as parents and providers navigating Virginia's early learning system. The group underscored the importance of robust investments in child care at the federal level in order to support Virginia's children, families, communities, and economy.
The Partnership looks forward to continuing our work at both the state and federal level to highlight the importance of strengthening Virginia's early learning system. Thank you to AES for the incredible opportunity and longstanding support of the Virginia Promise Partnership!
NEW VA COMMISSION ON EARLY CHILDHOOD CARE AND EDUCATION HOLDS FIRST MEETING
Virginia's new Commission on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) held its first meeting on July 20 at Reynolds Community College Workforce Development and Conference Center in Richmond, VA.
The Commission, established under House Bill 1423 / Senate Bill 1404 passed during the 2023 legislative session, is comprised of Virginia legislators and representatives of business, economic development, local government, school divisions, parents, and early care and education programs. The newly formed Commission is charged with providing recommendations for and tracking progress on the financing of Virginia’s comprehensive birth-to-five early childhood care and education system.
During the inaugural meeting, Commission members heard remarks from Virginia Secretary of Education Aimee Guidera, VDOE State Superintendent Dr. Lisa Coons, and VDOE Deputy Superintendent Jenna Conway. Members then participated in a visioning exercise to discuss and identify essential elements of a best-in-class ECCE system for Virginia, as well as generate themes, priorities, and a draft vision for the Commission.
The Commission's next meeting is scheduled for August 29, with the first annual report outlining Commission recommendations due to the Governor and the General Assembly by October 1. More information on the Commission's membership, meeting schedule, and history can be viewed through the Secretary of Education's website here and the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) website here.
CALLING ALL ADVOCATES! REGISTRATION OPEN FOR SEPTEMBER 30 ADVOCACY SUMMIT
Join VPP member organization Save the Children Action Network for a state child care advocacy summit on Saturday, September 30 in Chesterfield, VA!
During the day-long summit, participants will hear from keynote speakers, elected officials, and dynamic panelists; participate in hands-on trainings to hone your advocacy skills; and have the opportunity to network with fellow early childhood advocates.
Free lunch will be provided for all participants. Learn more and register here today!
NEW STUDY REVEALS GAPS IN INFANT AND TODDLER CHILD CARE SERVICES IN VA
This month, VPP member organization the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation (VECF) released a new report documenting the status of infant and toddler ECCE services across Virginia and analyzing where gaps persist in the system. The analysis found that while Virginia has made significant progress in strengthening its public-private ECCE system through improved infrastructure, policies, and investments, challenges remain for families of infants and toddlers.
The report reveals that demand for infant and toddler care exceeds supply in communities across the Commonwealth. These gaps in and barriers to infant and toddler services impact parents' ability to work and force them to make compromises about the type and quality of services their child experiences. This ultimately impacts child development, parental employment, family financial security, and the overall economy of Virginia.
The study goes on to propose a number of policy recommendations aimed at addressing these gaps, including expanding the Mixed Delivery and Child Care Subsidy Programs based on parent demand, increasing eligibility and reducing barriers to accessing publicly funded programs, and building a workforce that is well-trained and compensated.
VECF is hosting a webinar presentation and discussion of the report findings on Wednesday, August 2 from 12:00-1:00 PM. Register for the webinar here, view statewide and regional profiles based on the analysis here, and read the full report here.
Virginia voters agree that policymakers must do more to #InvestInChildCare! Read more on the Partnership's December 2022 poll through our website here.
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