United Ways of Tennessee supports child care reimbursement for low income families in the Child Care Benefits program and works within communities to improve access to high quality child care.
There is a great need for child care certificates (child care support for Families First recipients through child care block grant and the Department of Human Services.)
- Infant and toddler waiting lists are at an all time high.
- Some agencies providing infant and toddler care have already had to severely restrict and/or terminate the availability of services for those agencies to remain financially viable.
- Costs have risen and the value of certificates has declined substantially relative to market charges for care.
Support the development of the whole child from 0 – 5 years
- Bio-medical research shows that the “hard-wiring” of a child’s brain occurs between 0-3 years of age. During this time the brain develops critical pathways for learning.
- Longitudinal studies support that children at risk who receive quality child care from the beginning of their life are more likely to graduate from high school, obtain gainful employment and not enter the justice system as compared to those who do not.
Cost-benefit analyses confirm quality early childcare produces an economic return to society.
- New parents who are unable to find affordable quality childcare may turn to informal care givers, either family or someone in the neighborhood. This care is often unreliable. This in turn may lead to the new parent’s absenteeism from work and eventually needing to leave their job. Businesses feel the impact in loss of employee productivity and potential turnover.
To find child care near you, dial 2-1-1.