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VACo Supports Early Childhood Care and Education Effort

On Monday, December 4, VACo staff participated in the formal kick off of the “Gotta Have Childcare” campaign, which is aimed at preventing the loss of childcare options for families that were significantly expanded through federal funding as well as improving the overall health of Virginia’s early childhood system. This was shortly followed by an announcement from Governor Youngkin of a proposal to make significant state investments in the childcare system. VACo is a member of the Virginia Promise Partnership, which supports these efforts.

The need for additional state funding draws from data outlined in the October 2023 Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission (JLARC) Study on Virginia’s Self-Sufficiency Programs and the Availability and Affordability of Child Care and October 2023 VDOE findings requested by the Early Childhood Care and Education Commission (ECCE) outlined in this funding landscape and impact chart.

Without further action, from FY 2024 to FY 2025, childcare funding in Virginia will drop by nearly $300 million. Over 35,600 children could lose access to childcare and early education services. Over 37,300 parents could experience childcare related job disruption impacting employer productivity and bottom line.

The estimated need for the 2024 General Assembly Session includes:

  • Investing $275 million in FY25 and $325 million in FY26 to maintain and support parent demand for childcare services.
  • Enact legislation to ensure and maximize sustainable, stable funding that is responsive to parent choice, including:
    • A predictable cost-of-quality funding formula that responds to growing parent demand.
    • A non-reverting fund to safeguard and maximize childcare funds for distribution.

VACo supports the work of and local government representation on the Commission on Early Childhood Care and Education to provide recommendations for and tracking progress on the financing of Virginia’s comprehensive birth-to-five early childhood care and education system.

More information on this issue including a two-pager and slides from the Virginia Promise Partnership can be found here and here.

VACo Contact: Jeremy R. Bennett

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