My son Santiago just turned 5. He is in a home child care program that uses a bi-lingual curriculum – and his abilities are astonishing! He has advanced ability to read and articulate in both languages. So much so, that he even comes home and teaches me! My son can already do math word problems and reads in English and Spanish beyond a kindergarten level. Not only that, but my home child care provider also teaches my son manners: how to be courteous and respectful to adults and most importantly how to be kind and show empathy to other children. My son is so well prepared – he is ready for 1st grade!
I currently do not use child care assistance. However my oldest daughter and I did benefit from the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) back in the 1990’s. The program helped me stay in school and enabled me to participate productively in the workforce, while allowing my oldest daughter to start her early education in a quality structured setting. Now- she is a freshman in college!
CCAP ultimately benefited my employer too; because I had access to reliable child care, I was a reliable, stable and productive employee. Now two decades later I have a rewarding career in the global fashion jewelry market. I currently work in product development for one of the leading fashion jewelry and accessories manufacturers and importers in the world – based here in Rhode Island. In order to grow our economy and attract businesses – we need a reliable and productive workforce here in Rhode Island.
Having quality and reliable child care for my kids was key to my own success at work. I am sure that quality child care has an immeasurable impact for other parents too. For many children, professional home child care providers are a resource and even a parent coach for young and inexperienced parents. Home child care providers are trained to identify cognitive or behavioral issues and are usually the first ones to catch and help coach the parent and advocate for the child to remedy or treat the issue. This type of early intervention makes a difference in a child’s life.
Parents and providers need a voice. My provider needs a voice to be empowered to help raise her profession of home based child care and to pass on what she has done with my child to other children. Parents need a voice because we have insight and experience on how to make the child care program more efficient and more productive.
Parents and providers having a voice will help our children thrive and meet the demands of today’s economy. Our state and our economy will benefit, immediately and in the future.