We believe early childhood educators are key players when it comes to children’s education.
Early childhood educators not only support brain development and school readiness, parents of 130,000 Arkansas children rely on our services to earn a living. STRONG BRAINS are built through RELIABLE RELATIONSHIPS and STIMULATING PLAY with loving adults.
Arkansas will have high-quality care & education options for every child & family and a diverse, highly qualified, well-supported early childhood workforce. In Arkansas, 2 out of 3 children under age 5 live in homes where both parents work. Many Arkansas children spend about 11,500 hours of their lives in child care in the years before kindergarten. That’s more time spent in early care and education settings than they’ll spend in school from kindergarten through 9th grade! Birth to 5 years old is the most critical period of brain development for humans. It is a disservice not to maximize this time. Communities will benefit from investments in high quality care starting in infancy. As part of that investment, we must begin to educate, pay, and value early educators as professionals.
To connect, develop, and represent Arkansas early childhood care and education professionals. In doing so, we elevate the diversity, equity, and vibrancy of the profession and to ultimately promote high-quality care and education for all Arkansas children & families.
Downloadable version available here.
MAXIMIZE FEDERAL RESOURCES
The child care sector cannot sustain operations with continued financial losses.
Arkansas must use federal investments to ensure that licensed homes and centers can keep their doors open to meet the needs of children, families, and employers within their communities.
AECA will review state plans for two federal funding streams, the Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) and COVID relief funds. We will continue to work with
state leaders and share recommendations. We will base our recommendations on AECA member surveys and on our review of practices that have led to expanded access to high quality early care and education in other states. AECA will share information and guidance to its members regarding opportunities to engage in the CCDF and COVID relief planning processes.
DEVELOP TEACHING EXPERTISE
AECA will support legislative efforts to expand the T.E.A.C.H. scholarship program. This endeavor is led by the Excel by Eight Foundations Collaborative.
Investing additional state funds in T.E.A.C.H. will:
• improve quality of care for Arkansas children
• stabilize small businesses by helping retain a more qualified workforce
• support Arkansas’s higher education partners
• increase the number of adults in Arkansas with a college education
PROVIDE ADEQUATE COMPENSATION
Recent workforce studies indicate many Arkansas early childhood teachers and staff do not earn a living wage. AECA will support legislative efforts to pass the Working Taxpayer Relief Act. The Asset Funders Network is leading this endeavor. This Act would establish a refundable credit for Arkansas tax filers at 10% of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Bill SB10, sponsored by Sen. Dave Wallace has already been filed.
Take Action with Us
Use #keyPLAYers in your social media posts and our virtual “button” in Zoom meetings and email signatures: download here. We also invite you to join the nearly 1,500 professionals from around the state who have come together for more than 50 years on behalf of children and families in Arkansas. Join the Arkansas Early Childhood Association today!
𝗔𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗮 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗸? 𝗧𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝟮 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝘂𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝟮 𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲 𝗹𝗲𝗴𝗶𝘀𝗹𝗮𝘁𝗼𝗿𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗽𝗮𝘀𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗼𝗿𝗸𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗧𝗮𝘅 𝗣𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿 𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗳 𝗔𝗰𝘁
This past year has been hard on Arkansas’s early childhood community and many of the families that we serve. While we are all grateful to finally see some light at the end of this long tunnel, we must work together to make sure that early childhood educators and the parents of young children have the support they need to thrive as we move past this crisis.
SB 10 would provide financial relief to essential workers who have kept our economy going by creating a permanent tax credit for people who earn low wages.
Write to your legislator today and ask them to show their support for you, our sector, and many of Arkansas’s families by passing SB 10, to provide financial relief to our state’s essential workers.
To make this a super simple process, Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families have created this form for us so all it takes is two clicks – click the ‘Send your message now!’ button below, fill in your details and click to send the message.
Thank you for advocating for our sector and standing up for families in Arkansas. We salute you!