Arkansas will receive $464,955,451 through the American Rescue Plan (ARP). This is pandemic recovery funding that our state child care system can use through 2024. Combining that with the usual CCDF funding, we will have $727 million to spend over the next three years. That’s a lot of money that needs to be wisely invested.
It may feel like this number is too big for you to wrap your head around. However, YOU know more about the needs of children and families than anyone. And YOU know which supports will improve the professional lives of center-based and family child care providers. That’s why it is crucial for you to email your opinions about the state’s drafted budget by this Monday.
Members and the board of AECA have different roles in types of programs. We are of different ages, races, and cultural backgrounds. We live in different communities throughout the state. As different as we are, we have agreed on a list of recommendations to invest in YOU, Arkansas’s #keyplayers.
As we have mentioned in the past few blogs, we advocate for:
- Revised voucher policies based on enrollment, not attendance.
- Expansion of T.E.A.C.H. scholarships and introduction of loan forgiveness for staff who did not have access to T.E.A.C.H. in the past.
- Introduction of staff bonuses or salary supplements.
- More social-emotional support to prevent challenging child behaviors and reduce workforce stress.
Now we need you to let the state know what YOU advocate for as a #keyplayer. Please take a few minutes to review the state’s drafted budget and AECA recommendations.
State draft plan for this budget
AECA complete set of recommendations
Email your expert opinion (yes, you, the expert) to CCDFStatePlanComments@dhs.arkansas.gov by Monday June 7, 2021.
You can voice support for our recommendations or share your own. Your opinion matters! We are stronger, louder, TOGETHER!