When we speak with a unified voice, we send a loud and clear message to policymakers in Mississippi. Use our Media Advocacy Toolkit to spread the word about policy recommendations to promote childcare teacher retention and reduce childcare costs for working families!
In preparation for the Mississippi Senate Study Group on Women, Children, and Families‘ public hearing focused on childcare availability on October 25, early care and education professionals across the state have been working together to identify policy solutions that could increase working families’ access to affordable childcare. The Mississippi Early Learning Alliance (MELA), the University of Mississippi’s Graduate Center for the Study of Early Learning and other early childhood education partners have been gathering data and community input on recommendations to share with lawmakers during the October 25th hearing. The following recommendations will be shared:
- Promote childcare teacher retention through a voluntary wage supplement program using unallocated/unencumbered state funds.
- Remove the child support requirement from the Child Care Payment Program application.
- Reduce the annual cost of childcare for families through a refundable Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.
- Transfer the maximum amount of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars allowed to increase funding to childcare assistance for eligible families.
These policy recommendations are rooted in national and state-level data, but also what we’ve heard from childcare providers and parents in interviews, focus groups, surveys, meetings, and informal conversations. We are hoping to use these hearings as a platform to amplify their concerns and recommendations – and yours! To this end, we hope that you will spread the word about these recommendations using our Media Advocacy Toolkit.
In the toolkit, you’ll find ready-to-use tools to help you share your thoughts and amplify these recommendations, including:
- A press release, which will be sent to media outlets on Tuesday, October 18.
- Guidance for how to share your thoughts and experiences using a Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed (opinion editorial)
- Sample social media posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
We hope that you will use the social media posts on your business or organizational social media accounts and your personal accounts, and will consider submitting something to your local newspaper.
ABOUT THE HEARINGS
The Senate Study Group on Women, Children, and Families, chaired by Senator Nicole Boyd, was appointed by Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann in the wake of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization Supreme Court decision. The lawmakers are tasked with making legislative recommendations related to families and young children from birth to 3 years old, and they are using four public meetings to hear from expert speakers on how the state can best support families. All hearing are available on the Mississippi Legislature’s YouTube channel – you can watch the next two hearings live using this channel.
- Tuesday, October 25: Childcare Availability (9:00am)
- Wednesday, October 26: Early Intervention (9:00am)