CAA applauds Governor Hobbs' action to increase access to high-quality child care in Arizona.
Children’s Action Alliance applauds Governor Hobbs' move to take key actions to increase access to high-quality child care in Arizona.
Child care is an essential service. Hard-working families need a safe, reliable, and affordable place for their children to go while they are working. But times are hard for many Arizonans. The costs for housing and other necessities continue to rise. One 2022 survey showed that the average family in Arizona is spending 20% of its income on child care costs alone.
Compounding the affordability problem is a shortage of available care. Half of Arizona is a “child care desert,” which occurs when there is little to no access to quality child care in a community. Unsurprisingly, these child care deserts are more often located in rural areas or areas with higher concentrations of families living below the poverty line. “These child care deserts exist for many reasons and today’s announcement is aimed at addressing two of them” said Kelley Murphy, Interim President and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance.
The first action aims to increase the supply of high-quality child care options for school-age children by reducing the barriers and streamlining the rules that child care providers must meet when seeking licensure. The state licensure rules have not been updated in over a decade, and there are requirements that do not impact health and safety that can be removed, making it easier for those who want to provide care for school-age children.
The second action places financial resources directly into the hands of parents and caregivers who are involved in the child welfare system. We know that most reports to DCS (Department of Child Safety) involve neglect and one of the key ways to prevent neglect is to provide families with the resources they need to care for their children.
This move signals The Governor’s commitment to addressing longstanding problems with the child care system and increasing the availability of high-quality early learning environments for all of Arizona’s children.
CLICK HERE for The Governor’s announcement.