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Senator Bob Casey


... federal funding of child care has been frozen, while inflation and economic ... In 2007, the national average wage for a full-time child care worker was $9.46 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Senator Bob Casey

Senator Bob Casey
  • Americas Priorities
  • Investing in Children, Families and our Nation

Every Child is Born With a Light
Why Invest in Children?
  • Children, particularly low income children, can
    have dramatically better life outcomes.
  • We save in long run.

Better Life Outcomes
  • Children enrolled in high quality early care and
    education programs
  • are more successful in school
  • are less likely to be arrested as youths and
  • are more likely to attend college.
  • (as compared to peers not enrolled in such

Better Life Outcomes
At-risk 3- 4-year-olds were five times more
likely to become chronic offenders (more than
four arrests) by age 27.
Chronic lawbreakers at age 27
Those who attended the Perry preschool program
Those who did not attend the Perry preschool
Schweinhart, et al., 1993
Cost-Effective in the Long Run
For every 1 invested in High/Scope Perry
Preschool Program Taxpayers, victims, and
participants save over 17 in other costs
including crime, welfare and education.
For every 1 invested
Over 17 was saved
Critical Investments for Children
  • Child Care and Development
  • Early Education
  • Health Care

Benefits of Quality Child Care
  • Children learn and develop skills they need to
    succeed in school and life.
  • Parents have peace of mind and the support they
    need to be productive at work.
  • Our nation remains competitive with a stronger
    workforce now and in the future.

Child Care Unmet Needs
Receives Child Care Assistance
No Child Care Assistance
Since FY02, federal funding of child care has
been frozen, while inflation and economic needs
of families have steadily increased. Today, only
one in seven eligible children receives federal
child care assistance.
Child Care Unmet Needs
  • Approximately 13.5 million eligible children do
    not receive federal child care assistance.
  • The population of Pennsylvania is 12.4 million.

Child Care Impact on Families
  • Problems with child care can cause working
    parents to be less productive. They can
  • lose wages
  • be denied a promotion
  • be reprimanded for absenteeism or even
  • lose their jobs.

Poor families pay nearly one-third of their
income on child care, compared to 15 for
low-income families and 6 for upper-income
Poor Families
Upper-income Families
Low-income Families
In 2007, the national average wage for a
full-time child care worker was 9.46 an hour or
19,670 annually only slightly above the 2007
poverty level of 17,170 for a mother with two
2007 National Average Wage for Child Care Worker
2007 Federal Poverty Level 17,170
Starting Early, Starting Right
  • S. 2980, Starting Early, Starting Right Act would
    increase access to high quality child care
  • Gives states funding for approximately 365,000
    children on waiting lists in PA alone, nearly
    8,000 children
  • Ensures announced and unannounced site visits
  • Requires 40 hours of training for child care
    workers, with 24 hours additional hours annually

Starting Early, Starting Right
  • S. 2980 (continued)
  • Requires states to pay child care workers based
    on the actual and current costs of care
  • Sets aside 30 of funding for infants and
    toddlers, chronically underfunded group
  • Encourages more states to adopt star quality
    ratings (like PAs Keystone Stars)
  • Increases funding for state quality improvement

From Child Care to Early Education
  • Two longitudinal studies (Perry Preschool,
    Abecedarian Project) showed children in high
    quality pre-school
  • scored higher on achievement tests
  • attained higher levels of education
  • required less special education
  • were less likely to engage in delinquent
  • earned higher wages
  • were more likely to own a home and
  • were less likely to go on welfare or be
    incarcerated than controls.

Early Education School Readiness
  • Many children do not arrive at school with the
    skills they need.
  • Fewer than 50 of low-income children attend
    pre-kindergarten. Research shows that cognitive
    and social skills are strongly correlated with
    income level at school entry.
  • Children who start behind are more likely to stay

Why Kids Need Early Education
  • As high school dropout rates for disadvantaged
    children hover around 50, research shows that
    children who receive high quality early education
    are more likely to graduate.

Investing in Early Education
  • The cost of high quality pre-k is prohibitive for
    poor families and a financial strain for most
    working families.
  • As states face increasing fiscal pressures, many
    cutting budgets for pre-k.
  • States need federal matching to provide
    increased access to early education.

Prepare All Kids Act
  • S. 1374, Prepare All Kids Act, would help states
  • Provide at least one year of high quality pre-k,
    targeting children from low-income families
  • Utilize research-based curriculum, supporting
    childrens cognitive, social, emotional and
    physical development
  • Support and reinforce the importance of other
    programs, including Head Start and child care

Prepare All Kids Act
  • S. 1374 (continued)
  • Meet the needs of kids and working parents by
    requiring a 6-hour day
  • Ensure continued quality by requiring states to
    develop and enforce a monitoring plan
  • Provide a funding set aside for infants and
  • Support the critical role of parents by
    encouraging parental involvement and assisting
    families who need supportive services.

Children Need Health Care to Succeed
  • We cannot meet the developmental needs of
    children without providing them quality and
    comprehensive health care.
  • The State Childrens Health Insurance Program
    (CHIP) has been a 10-year experiment in success.
  • About 6.6 million children are covered under

But 9.4 million children in this country do not
have health insurance. That is 1 in 8 children.
Pick which one does not get to go to the doctor.
CHIP Helps Working Families
The vast majority of uninsured children, over
three-fourths (78), live in working families.
CHIP Helps Rural Families
  • Rural children increasingly rely on CHIP. More
    than one-third of all rural children rely on CHIP
    and Medicaid.
  • While most parents of rural children are
    employed, jobs offering affordable health
    insurance have declined sharply in rural America
    since 2000.

Benefits of CHIP
  • Well-Child Visits
  • Immunizations
  • Prescription drugs
  • Dental care
  • Maternity Care
  • Mental Health Benefits
  • General Preventive Care

Uninsured children are 10 times more likely to
have an unmet health care need than insured
Investing in Children
  • The evidence is irrefutable.
  • Early care and prevention works, especially for
    disadvantaged children.
  • Children grow up into healthy and successful
  • Our workforce is more productive and our nation
    sees enormous savings.

The Choice is Clear We Can Pay Now...
Or We Can Pay Later
It is up to us
to keep the light in each child burning brightly.