Audio – Senator Keith Ingram Reporting News From 91st General Assembly
May 24th, 2018 • News

May 24, 2018

    Working families with children in day care just received some great news. Thanks to a $26 million grant to the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, more than 2,000 children in low-income families will be moved off a waiting list, and will qualify for vouchers that help pay for their child care.

  • While most of the grant money pays for child care, about 10 percent will pay for training and professional development of staff, as well as for improvements to child care facilities. This is excellent news for families in which one parent works at least 30 hours a week, or goes to school full time.
  • It is also a tremendous incentive for child care facilities to keep up the quality of services they provide. That’s because the vouchers can only be used at facilities that participate in the state’s quality rating system, which monitors facilities to make sure they maintain high quality settings.
  • Quality care is a foundation for academic success later in childhood. Research has proven beyond any doubt that kids who start learning early are more likely to succeed when they begin first grade.Kids tend to fall behind in elementary school if they have not had access to teachers, learning materials and inter-action with classmates. They start out at a disadvantage, and it often takes them years to catch up, if they ever do.
  • The $26 million grant will increase the number of vouchers available in Arkansas by about 70 percent. That’s the kind of good news we’ll continue to celebrate in years to come, when those kids graduate from college.
      Click to Listen - Audio Recording from May 24, 2018