United Way of Central Indiana, well known for its annual fundraising campaigns, is kicking off a different type of campaign today.
The Kids Need Quality campaign is designed to boost awareness of the importance that high quality child care in the critical years before age six plays in a child’s educational success. It will also encourage people to ask their state legislators to support changes in public policy so that all children in early learning settings are safe and receiving high quality care.
As part of the campaign, United Way is beginning to air television and radio spots along with outdoor and online messages all geared to increase the supply of and demand for high quality child care.
The campaign describes a child care setting from a six-month old baby’s point of view. It urges parents, regardless of how they pay for child care, to expect high quality care and safety.
“The first years of life are so fragile, yet they carry so much promise,” said Ted Maple, Ph.D., United Way’s director of education. “Child care should be a place where young children play, learn, grow and get their education off to a great start. Yet, too few facilities are high quality, especially in lower-income neighborhoods. And many parents do not demand quality. We must set higher expectations for all child care providers. Our children’s futures and lives depend on it.”
Specifically, the campaign will bolster United Way’s advocacy during the current session of the Indiana General Assembly for changes to require that any child care provider who accepts government vouchers should meet basic standards to ensure children are in a healthy and safe early learning environment; and, that working families, regardless of their income level, should have access to quality child care and information about health and safety regulations.
United Way has adopted and invested in a 10-year plan to improve early learning and the quality of child care.
Visit their campaign at http://www.kidsneedquality.org/