The child care system in Delaware is broken. Constant underfunding has resulted in a lack of quality and affordable child care, an increase in child care deserts, limitations to families’ economic mobility, children left unprepared for kindergarten, and disrespect shown to teachers and small business owners. Due to consistent underinvestment:
- 96% of providers in Delaware report staffing shortages
- 50% of providers are turning away families and are unable to open classrooms
- 39% of providers have longer wait lists than ever before—some hundreds of families long
- 30% of families utilizing child care subsidy are no longer benefitting from the program
It’s time to tell Governor Carney that our teachers, families and children deserve better - they deserve real investments and real solutions. Advocates have requested lawmakers commit ongoing, sustainable funding for the Purchase of Care (POC) subsidy for children and families. Last year, however, child care rates were increased 4-5% and $5 million was authorized in one-time contingency funds, to be used only if needed. We need immediate investments and a long-term plan to ensure child care in Delaware doesn't collapse.
And, our state ranks 42nd in access to state-funded pre-K. When Head Start and district programs are included, we serve less than 15% of all 3- and 4-year olds. Delawareans agree all families should have access to high-quality pre-k, and we need to increase the investment especially to serve special education students in IDEA-compliant settings and to serve low-income families.
President Biden has made investments in pre-K and child care a top priority, and states will have a major role to play in delivery and funding. The President's home state should demonstrate what is our already shared vision of high-quality, affordable child care for all children.
Please tell Governor Carney to invest more in FY23:
- State sustainable funding in POC - at least $40 million more to reach the market rate benchmark of 75th percentile
- Expanded access to pre-K for 3- and 4-year olds, including a focus on low-income and special education students to reach minimum compliance - $15 million
This campaign is a joint partnership with First State Pre-K, deaeyc, Rodel and the Delaware Readiness Teams. Our goal is to send 500 emails to Governor Carney by the start of the legislative session on January 11, 2022. Draft messaging is provided here that you can personalize and share by email, phone or text.