NACCRRA’s National Policy Symposium in Washington, D.C.
Parents will meet with policymakers on Capitol Hill to voice child care concerns and advocate for improved child care options for families
Indianapolis, IN– Casey Williams, resident of Indianapolis, was chosen to represent area parents at the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies’ (NACCRRA) National Policy Symposium, which will be held March 15-19, 2011, in Washington, D.C. At the Symposium, she will learn about national child care issues and have the opportunity to meet with Indiana’s Senators, Representatives and congressional staff members to share child care concerns and advocate for more affordable, quality child care for Indianapolis parents.
We are extremely pleased to have parents such as Williams attend NACCRRA’s Policy Symposium,” said Linda K. Smith, Executive Director of NACCRRA. “By attending the Symposium and voicing her child care concerns to policymakers, she is primed to effect change and improve the quality of care that children receive.”
Williams chose a church child care program in Indianapolis for her young daughter. The cameras installed in the facility, which allowed parents to check in on their children online, reassured that her child would be safe. She assumed that as a registered child care facility, there would be guidelines set forth by the state. Williams began to have doubts about the quality of care when she noticed the high employee turnover rate, and when she learned of an incident in which police were called to the center. After contacting the Family and Social Services Administration, Williams learned that the center’s owner had a felony conviction on her record and a Child Protective Services’ substantiation for child abuse/neglect. Williams removed her daughter from the center, which was eventually shut down due to failed inspections. According to Casey, the center has since reopened and the owner continues to work there though she is court-ordered not to do so. Casey believes that situations like this can be avoided if laws are changed so that home-based, center-based, and church-based child care programs are required to follow the same laws.
Today, more than 11 million children under age 5 are in some type of child care arrangement every week while their parents work. On average, children of working mothers spend 35 hours every week in child care. Studies repeatedly have shown that quality child care – care that provides a loving, safe, stable and age-appropriate environment – helps children enter school ready to learn. Yet, less than 10 percent of the nation’s child care is of quality care.
NACCRRA’s National Policy Symposium seeks to raise the visibility of child care issues, such as the lack of quality, and advocate for improved conditions. It features numerous sessions on the latest policy, research and practice developments in child care and CCR&R. The Symposium also offers a forum for policy analysis and discussion, examination of latest research, quality training, peer networking, visits to legislators and resources dissemination for about 500 attendees from across the country.
The Parents @ Symposium program is designed to ensure that policymakers hear directly from parents. The program includes a series of highly interactive sessions designed specifically to prepare parents to meet with their representatives in Congress and the media. State Networks and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies (CCR&Rs) across the nation were invited to select parents to participate in this initiative. Agencies were invited to select parents who encountered difficulties finding and paying for child care and were willing to share their experience with others.
NACCRRA, the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, is our nation’s leading voice for child care. We work with more than 600 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies to ensure that families in every local community have access to high quality, affordable childcare. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. To learn more about NACCRRA and how you can join us in ensuring access to quality child care for all families, visit us at http://www.naccrra.org.