For the week of July 19—23, 2021, we need to ensure lawmakers in Washington hear loud and clear that child care and early learning must be a top priority with significant, sustained funding in the upcoming reconciliation package. This is a make or break moment, and we need you to use your voice to #SolveChildCare!
Social Media Advocacy
The First Five Years Fund created an online toolkit and advocacy tools to spread the word and tell Congress to #SolveChildCare.
Sample Social Media Messaging
Sample Tweet 1: The Child Tax Credit, the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, and robust #ECE investments in the American Families Plan would drastically help low- & middle-income families with young children. I support Congress passing this crucial proposal. #SolveChildCare
Sample Tweet 2: Family child care workers and business owners often earn low wages. Dedicated federal investment in child care would finally reward early educators for the invaluable work they do. [@MEMBEROFCONGRESS]: please support proposals that will #SolveChildCare.
Sample Tweet 3: When parents are at work, they want to know their kids are cared for in settings that support their healthy development. But quality #childcare is often out of reach for low- & middle-income families. [@MEMBEROFCONGRESS]: Please pass a major investment to #SolveChildCare.
Sample Tweet 4: Millions of working parents have had to cut working hours or leave the workforce altogether to care for their young children. [@MEMBEROFCONGRESS]: Pass the #AmericanFamiliesPlan to help build an #earlylearning system that works for America’s working families. #SolveChildCare
Social Media Graphics
Sample Email/Letter Language
Email subject: Child care is essential to our economic recovery
Dear [NAME OF MEMBER OF CONGRESS],
My name is [NAME] and I live in [MEMBER OF CONGRESS]‘s [district/state]. I’m writing today to urge you to ensure Congress approves a significant and sustained investment in America’s child care and early learning system.
It has never been more clear that child care is crucial to many parents’ ability to work, but families across the country are struggling to find and afford the care options they need. Making a substantial investment in the child care system similar to what is included in the American Families Plan is a big step in the right direction.
We need to ensure parents can access child care options that help kids build on the learning and development experiences they get at home with their families. But for too many families, the high cost and limited supply of child care options force them to rely on inconsistent or unsafe care options, or even cut their work hours or leave the workforce altogether. Meanwhile, because high-quality early care & education is such an expensive, labor-intensive service to deliver, providers of all sizes are faced with an entirely untenable business model that often translates into near-poverty wages for child care providers.
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed the already-unstable industry to the brink of collapse, forcing widespread closures, exploiting the fragility of the market, and exacerbating longstanding challenges of both supply and demand in child care. It also created immense challenges for working parents, particularly moms, who were forced to make tough choices between work and caregiving. The American Rescue Plan and other crucial relief measures from the past year are providing critical emergency funding to prevent the already-unstable child care industry from collapsing entirely. But the relief funding was only intended to keep child care providers afloat and ensure essential workers could access care through the pandemic, not address the underlying instability of America’s child care market.
Without question, child care is crucial to many families’ economic security and to children’s long-term success. It’s also an integral pillar supporting America’s economy. Now is the time for Congress to address America’s child care crisis once and for all with a significant investment in our early education system to ensure every family who needs it can access the care options that work for them.
As Congress nears the upcoming August recess, I urge you to do everything you can to ensure Congress works to make significant, sustained investments in our nation’s child care and early learning system so that parents have quality, affordable options.
Engage Local Media
- Make it personal: Share your personal story about how access to affordable child care has affected you or someone you know.
- Appeal to your audience: Include local references so your piece is relevant to the readership of your target publication.
- Check length requirements: Make sure to check to see whether or not your target publication has length requirements for op-eds (usually ~650 words) or LTEs (usually ~200 words)
Find sample language below from First Five Years Fund.
Check out these webinars on #SolveChildCare in Spanish and English: