McSilver Institute Hosts Panel on Innovations in Supporting Child Care in Low-Income Communities

On Monday, June 27, the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research hosted "Advocating for Quality: Innovations in Supporting Child Care in Low-Income Communities."

Representatives from several child care advocacy organizations and researchers came together with two key goals: to increase access to quality child care for children and families and to advance the economic position of child care providers. The event was moderated by McSilver Assistant Professor Myra Jones-Taylor, who shared her research findings regarding the impacts of increased professionalization of child care workers.

Jones-Taylor spent several years as a member of the New Haven Early Childhood Council where she studied local and federal policies and observed their effects on the delivery of child care. Her research revealed the tensions between the two dominant roles of child care in society: to serve as one part of a comprehensive plan to support working families and to focus more narrowly on children's academic achievement. The far-reaching implications of this tension have long lasting consequences on children and those who care for them. Many of Jones-Taylor's colleagues on the panel reported similar findings from across the country.

Among the policy recommendations that came from the panel were the importance of framing child care as a critical component of economic development and the need to provide substantive professional development of the child care workforce that is not restricted to the attainment of a bachelor's degree.

Panel members included:
A. Caroline Hotaling, Program Officer, Ms. Foundation for Women
Shyama Venkateswar, PhD, Director of Research & Programs, National Council for Research on Women
Janet Filante, Executive Director, Childspace CDI
Sharon Neilson, Co-chair, Provider's Committee, Childspace CDI; Director, Woodland Academy Child Development Center
Maria Luz Torre, Organizer, Parent Voices
Lauren Fried, Parent Leader, Parent Voices
Jessica Sager, Co-Founder and Executive Director, All Our Kin

The event was co-sponsored by the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, National Council for Research on Women, and Ms. Foundation for Women.