Did you know that Congress has recently added additional funds to the Child Care and Development Fund? And, even better news is that Arkansas will receive an additional 10 million dollars! Right now, our leaders are planning for how we as a state will use this funding. 

We as early care and education providers provide a perspective which only we can. As we serve our children and families each day, operating from a business model that is unlike any other within an extremely fragile ecosystem. We are the experts. And, we are being called upon to be part of an important planning process. 

Let’s Engage in our Arkansas CCDF Planning Process

We often hear of how important our stories are and how our stories have potential to influence policy and important decisions that affect us not only as a state but affect individual communities, programs and families. Well, now is a time such as this!  We have an opportunity to speak on behalf of programs, families, and community! Our leaders will soon be making funding decisions that will affect our work going forward. Along with our stories, our recommendations and suggestions are authentic, relevant and valued. Our voice is needed as our leaders work to develop a statewide plan for the CCDF funding.

What is the State CCDF Planning Process?

The Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) is the primary federal program specifically devoted to providing lower-income families with child care subsidies (CC vouchers) and funding for states to improve program quality (technical assistance and professional development at no cost to you, as an example) . 

Every three years, states, including ARKANSAS, are required to submit for federal approval their CCDF Plan which outlines their child care policies and how they’ll use federal funds to advance equitable access to affordable, high-quality child care. This is an important and unique opportunity for all advocates, including parents and providers to spotlight the challenges that exist with the current child care system and make policy recommendations for the future. 

How to Engage in the Process:

Did you know that all states must hold at least one hearing to enable the public to comment on the provisions in the CCDF Plan? 

Arkansas’s state’s public hearing is scheduled for April 30th at 10:00 am at the Department of Education, 4 Capitol Mall Avenue, Little Rock. You are invited to attend!

I encourage you to become familiar with the plan and take advantage of the ways you can be part of the process in representation of your program, your community.  Consider the following ways you can engage in this process.

Actions you can take today:

  1. Access the Arkansas CCDF State Plan Final Draft 2025-2027  OR visit the resource provided by the Arkansas State Board of Education’s Committee on Early LearningA Vision for Arkansas Education. This shared resource explains each piece of the CCDF recommendations. Think about how the plan will affect your program, families, and community. 
  1. Please don’t shy away from asking questions and offering recommendations. Our state leaders want to submit a plan that best supports our communities, our state. You may submit questions or comments to: oec.CCDFstateplancomments@ade.arkansas.gov
  1. Be on the lookout for AECA’s social media post regarding the upcoming public hearing and how to make comments regarding the CCDF planning. Sharing on social media is the simplest way to share this important information. With just 2-clicks and your stakeholders, more people can quickly access this information. In the past, we have encouraged advocates like you to have a specific list of ‘your ten people’ that you share information with – you can tag them in your shares or even send information to them privately. A combination of both will spread the word far and wide!
  1. Testify Verbally at the Public Hearing: Testifying verbally is a powerful opportunity to speak directly about policies and investments that will address the needs of families and providers in the state’s CCDF Plan. Time to speak at a public hearing is often limited, so practicing your story and including your key points at the beginning is helpful. If you run out of time, you can submit your remaining comments as written testimony. 
  1. Submit Your Testimony in Writing: For some a written story is less scary. And, for many a submission of a written story may be the only way to represent due to our commitment to our programs. You may wish to refer to a Messaging and Guidance Resource with templates provided by: Child Care Aware as you plan.  You may submit your stories in writing to: oec.CCDFstateplancomments@ade.arkansas.gov

As your public policy chair, I would love to think with you about how you might be part of the process. Reach out to me at zephoniaa@gmail.com.

Zephonia Avant
AECA Public Policy Chair

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This