The A Fragile Ecosystem was released in partnership with United Way of Kentucky, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence, Kentucky Youth Advocates, Child Care Advocates of Kentucky, Metro United Way, Learning Grove, United Way of Greater Cincinnati, Appalachian Early Childhood Network, EC Learn, and Community Coordinated Child Care (4-C). This working group is committed to the success of children, families, and child care providers across Kentucky.
The results of our child care provider survey (May 2020) and the surveys of parents and families (July 2020 and January 2021) clearly show the need for greater financial support from Congress, and for a continued substantial, engaged planning with providers at the state level. Both are critical in ensuring that Kentucky’s child care infrastructure is sustained immediately and in the long term.
In partnership, we are happy to present to you the findings of our Kentucky Child Care Provider Survey and our Kentucky Parent Surveys. Please find full survey reports and findings below for each of the three surveys.
A Fragile Ecosystem 1 - the state of child care in Kentucky following COVID-19 closures
More than 1,500 of the state's 2,172 providers participated in A Fragile Ecosystem I, the Kentucky Child Care Provider Survey.
It is our hope that these responses will help organizations and policymakers understand the ongoing impacts of the pandemic on the child care sector, as well as improve upon solutions at the federal, state and community level.
The impact of the pandemic on child care in Kentucky has already been extensive, and the system was already struggling to survive.
From affording rent and mortgage payments, to paying staff benefits, providers are concerned about many factors when it comes to re-opening.
Survey Summary Results
A Fragile Ecosystem II - Kentucky parents respond to the child care crisis following COVID-19
In July 2020, we surveyed more than 1,500 Kentucky parents and families to share their thoughts about child care and what’s next as Kentucky reopens the economy. Parents from 101 of Kentucky's 120 counties participated in the survey.
Survey Summary Results
A Fragile Ecosystem III - COVID-19’s continued impact on child care for Kentucky parents and families
In January 2021, more than 1,400 parents and families participated in A Fragile Ecosystem III. This survey provided a space for families to share the continued impact of the pandemic on child care and how advocates can best support families during this time.
Survey Summary Results
Our Call to Action
State leaders must continue to focus on Kentucky’s own investments to sustain child care and support more families with access to high-quality, full-day care. The results of our previous child care surveys - and this most recent survey of parents and families - clearly demonstrate the struggles Kentucky communities face with child care, and both the need and demand for greater public investment at the state and federal level.
A healthy early childhood ecosystem is vitally important in creating a foundation for education in our youngest children. Quality child care programs also improve social and emotional growth, and enable their families to participate in the workforce. Moreover, child care providers are critical to the successful reopening of our schools. Many families of school age children rely on child care for critical services outside of normal school hours. The needs of child care providers and parents and families must be given the attention and resources they deserve – at the state and federal levels – as we begin to re-open the Commonwealth.
Child care is too important to the education of our young children, their health and well-being, and families’ ability to work. As state policy leaders continue through the 2021 legislative session, we call on General Assembly and Governor to immediately invest in increased child care assistance reimbursement rates and incentives for serving infants, toddlers & young children in high-quality center and home-based child care that begins to chart a sustainable path toward increasing eligibility for assistance to 200% of the federal poverty level. The success of Kentucky’s children, families, and economy deserve nothing less.
And while we remain grateful for the federal stimulus support for child care so far, we continue our call for Congress to provide additional assistance to child care as part of future federal stimulus efforts – up to the estimated $50 billion necessary to ensure the sustainability of the child care system. The support must be robust and flexible, allowing states like Kentucky to support operating costs, co-pays and tuition based on enrollment, training and professional development, facility maintenance and cleaning.
On Monday, June 8th at 3:00 p.m. EST we hosted an online broadcast of “A Fragile Ecosystem - The state of childcare in Kentucky following COVID-19 closures.” The event detailed the results of the child care provider survey conducted by the Prichard Committee, United Way of Kentucky, Kentucky Youth Advocates, Child Care Advocates of Kentucky, Metro United Way, Learning Grove, and United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
The panel discussion included Kevin Middleton, United Way of Kentucky; Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Prichard Committee; Ashli Watts, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce; Terry Brooks, Kentucky Youth Advocates; Sarah Vanover, Division of Child Care; Amy Neal, Governor's Office of Early Childhood; and Bridget Yates, Cornerstone Child Development Center.
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