Today, Monday, June 7 is the deadline to provide feedback to a proposed 3-year budget for Arkansas child care infrastructure. Email your valued opinions to

Every vote matters in an election, right? The same goes for public comments. Every comment must be considered before a budget can be finalized.

We here at AECA put out a quick social media poll to see which of our budget recommendations is at the top of your list. The winner was to pay staff retention bonuses, a strategy that has been implemented successfully in other states. (Read about WAGE$®.) With additional funds the state will receive through the American Rescue Plan, it’s okay to think big.

“What’s Your Top Priority?” Facebook Poll Results

This week, we are also seeing social media buzz about the urgent need for social-emotional professional development. During the pandemic, children’s challenging behaviors have increased, and many in our workforce feel unprepared. Expanding the state’s pool of social-emotional coordinators would help. This group of experts would train more staff to identify and prevent trauma-related behavior problems.

You can scan the state’s drafted budget proposal or review AECA’s complete set of recommendations. Then email YOUR needs and opinions TODAY—the last day for public comment. Not sure what to say? Take some of our polling option vocabularies and use that as a guide or look at each of the one-page Sections of our recommendations here:

Section 4: Ensure Equal Access to Child Care for Low-Income Children

Section 6: Recruit & Retain a Qualified and Effective Child Care Workforce

Section 7: Support Continuous Quality Improvement

Our voices are stronger when we all speak up together! We thank you for sending your emails and speaking up for our ECE workforce, children and families!

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