Jeanette Barker, Executive Director
Playmates Preschools and Child Development Centers
Good morning, I just want to give everyone an update on SB146.
Great news! Yesterday I was called to go to House Committee for questions on(SB146) the flexibility model for Pre-k. Only a few questions were asked, discussions went well. Monica Dellamane and Janet Bock, from the Department of Education, were also invited to attend on behalf of the state department. Monica spoke in support of flexibility to meet family and community needs, giving a very clear message that we need to leave the plan in the hands of each county pre-k team just as it currently is.
The bill was passed unanimously in House Committee and will be recommended to the full committee for signing today. We have now the support of full Senate and House Committees.
I will keep you informed as the process moves along. I will continue communications with the Governors office.
If all continues as planned, we will have a lot to celebrate for childcare and pre-k for this legislative session ; 1) Our DHHR increase has been approved to help off set minimum wage and insurance increases that will help stabilize childcare budgets; 2) Pre-k flexibility will not only benefit families and communities but most of all will keep childcare centers as a viable pre-k partner of county collaborative teams.
These are huge accomplishments for childcare, this is a great example of how our Childcare Association works for us to make change happen. Together as WVCCU we are very strong and organized.
Thank you for all of your on-going participation and membership.
Please send a thank you to Senator Bob Plymale for his continuous work and support to early education.
Jeanette Barker, Executive Director
Playmates Preschools and Child Development Centers
WVCCU Legislative Liaison
WVCCU is open to everyone, not just childcare agencies, centers or advocacy groups. Individuals who believe in improving conditions in childcare may also join WVCCU as affiliate members. If you wish to join WVCCU, complete the membership application and return to the address listed on the form. Please make sure to include the proper dues amount with your application. You should receive confirmation of your application and a letter stating your membership status within 2 to 4 weeks. Membership is good for one year.
In childcare it’s easy to feel that no one understands the challenges of providing quality care. WVCCU wants to make sure that the resources and supports are in place to make all childcare programs successful.
We offer that support by providing opportunities to network with other childcare professionals who can relate to difficult situations. WVCCU also gives a voice to legislation that effects childcare centers, teachers and policy. We promise to keep you informed of changing regulations as well as pending legislation that could make the difference in your childcare program. WVCCU facilitates a minimum of 2 Dinner Meetings a year where a speaker usually addresses the members about current news affecting the childcare industry. This also gives members time to come together to talk about individual issues that may be relevant to others.
We are happy that you visited.
The meeting note are on the about page.
The Leadership Academy is offered to all Child care center directors and Assistant directors.
We are a nonprofit childcare center organization created to act as the "voice" for children, their families, and early care and education professionals and advocates across the state of West Virginia. We were formed by the merger of two former organizations: West Virginia Association of Child Care Centers and Directors on a Mission in 2001
Our mission statement is "Dedicated to improving the quality of childcare in West Virginia."
We will promote this mission through:
We will support quality, affordability and availability of childcare in West Virginia.
We are a nonprofit childcare providers organization created to act as the "voice" for children, their families, and early care and education professionals and advocates across the state of West Virginia.
West Virginia Childcare Centers United we are a nonprofit childcare providers organization
That….WV has the lowest workforce participation rate due, in part, to working families not having access to affordable child care.
That….The average child care worker in WV, most of whom are parents themselves, makes less than $18,000/year! That’s below poverty level…….
That….WV has a very low literacy rate. The best time to start building literacy is in early childhood.
What we are fighting for….
We are all united to create the strongest possible early childhood education system in the country. Included in this system would be improved quality standards for child care centers, better pay for child care workers, expansion of home visiting programs that help prevent child abuse and to aid children with disabilities.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LEGISLATORS AND TELL THEM TO INCREASE THE CHILD CARE REIMBURSEMENT RATE so….centers are not shutting their doors on working families and centers get the reimbursement they need to pay workers a decent wage.
Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (304)558-2000
Senator Mike Hall (304)357-7901 Delegate Eric Nelson (304)340-3230
Senator Dave Sybolt (304)357-7914 Delegate Amanda Pasdon (304)340-3265
Senator Bill Cole (304)357-7801 Delegate Tim Armstead (304)340-3210
Most important, join our team for the latest updates and action alerts! E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to sign-on or better yet….come to Charleston for Our Children, Our Future Statewide Policy Summit on September 14-15.
(Register at www.ocofwv.org/whatshappening)
Benefits to becoming a member of WVCCU include:
The total $1.50 increase in minimum wage in Jan. 2015 and Jan. 2016 is the largest increase in the history of minimum wage and over the shortest period of time (l year)
More funding for early childcare is needed, not just a reallocation of funds so that fewer families become eligible for subsidized care
Childcare wage rates normally hover around minimum wage (with the exception of education and experience of the staff person) In order not to destroy morale by a new hire making as much as a staff person who has been at a child care center/facility for years, some centers need to raise everyone. (The first $ .75 increase will cost one center $30,000 extra/year, of funding they don't have)
Even at that 'the average child care worker in WV makes less than $18,000/year (below poverty level)"
Minimum wage increases without an increase in child care subsidies will close some child care centers and facilities and force children into unregulated care or force parents to drop out of the workforce.
It costs as much or more to board a dog as a childcare provider is paid to nurture and educate a child
When minimum wages increase, child care subsidies need to increase
New York sets reimbursement rates for child care subsidies every 2 years.
MW/WV Minimum Wage and Child Care Subsidies/Sept. 15, 2015 epared by Judy Olson
Tips for e-mails or letters:
State your purpose for communicating (simple and clear)
Make up your own or pick 1-3 points (from the bullet points provided in the 3rd attachment)
E-mails should be short (you can include an attachment)
Letters should be one page (unless an attachment is included)
If you include an attachment (like the one on the history of minimum wage and subsidy increases), don't assume they will take the time to open it and read it, so if there are big things that stand out to you mention them in your e-mail or letter sample e-mail or letter:
Dear (Senator or Delegate) (name) : (Change this title as necessary for WVDHHR Secretary, etc.) I am writing because of the crisis that is facing child care (centers/facilities/homes) who care for young children in WV. We are now in the midst of the largest increase in minimum wage ($1.50) over the shortest period of time (1 year) in the history of minimum wage increases. There has not been an increase in subsidy rates for low income children since 2009 (6-7 years ago when the last minimum wage increased).
(At this point, you can insert 1 — 3 bullet points from the 3rd attachment) s an example of a bullet:
In order to keep our doors open, we need an increase in subsidy rates to help absorb the increase in minimum wage. More funding is needed in childcare so that subsidy rates can be increased without allocation of existing funds by making fewer children eligible for subsidy, (forcing children into regulated care or cause parents to quit their jobs)
I am requesting that this important issue be addressed in your upcoming sessions. Thank you for everything you can do to keep our children safe in licensed and monitored child care centers/facilities/homes.
Information Bullets/talking points
There has not been an increase in subsidy rates since 2009 (over 6 years), which doesn't even keep up cost of living increases, let alone minimum wage increases.
Child care staff are paid such low hourly wages, we are not against raising minimum wage, but must also have an increase in the amount we receive/child/day in order to keep our doors open.
We hate to turn low income families away (especially single parents in school or with low income however our (center/facility) can only accept of subsidized students in order to stay financially solvent. If rates were increased, we could accept more subsidized children.
* (Any starred name is important due to position or by being on the Finance Committee or the Education Committee.