Councilors Chambers Armstrong and Dorsey advocate investing $ 20 million in ARP funds to meet Louisville’s child care needs
Metro United Way and heads of state co-sign letter to mayor in support of fundraising
Louisville – Councilor Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-8) and Councilor Keisha Dorsey (D-3) sent a letter to Mayor Greg Fischer asking for his public support for a $ 20 million investment in improving the child care in Jefferson County. The letter is co-signed by Minority Senate Leader Morgan McGarvey, Minority House Leader Joni Jenkins, Metro United Way and several other community organizations.
The community has ranked child care as one of its top priorities for distributing the second round of funds in the city’s US bailout.
While there are discussions at the state and federal levels regarding more potential funding for the child care field, Councilor Chambers Armstrong and Councilor Dorsey believe Metro Government has the responsibility and the resources available now to ensure equitable access to early learning opportunities, stimulate the city’s workforce, and make a lasting difference.
The Metro Council’s working group on the topic sent out a request for information on Thursday asking for specific suggestions and ideas that could address current gaps in the child care system. The working group will advocate to address the issues and needs that emerge from this process.
Kentucky’s Division of Child Care has committed $ 763 million in ARP funds for child care. The majority of the funding is to be used for direct sustainability allocations to child care providers that increase wages up to $ 10 to $ 13 an hour.
Unfortunately, Louisville’s median hourly wage for child care workers is $ 9.78, which would leave many providers without access to these funding resources. One of the suggestions for ARP funding includes offering salary supplements to underpaid early childhood educators so that more providers can access state matching programs.
âIt’s wonderful to see our state and federal officials taking action to meet the child care needs in our city. But it is an issue that requires all levels of government to work together, and local government must be a partner in this work. High quality early learning opportunities are important elements in creating a healthy, peaceful and prosperous society. I can’t think of a higher priority to focus on, âsaid City Councilor Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-8).
âIf you ever want to see what’s important to a city and its people, see where the money is spent. I am proud to support this effort to provide the necessary and essential funds for the benefit of all our children. This must be a priority for all of us, âsaid Councilor Keisha Dorsey (D-3).
âWe commend Metro Council and the Mayor for their deliberations on the American Rescue Plan Act’s investments in child care and early childhood education – a priority our community has ranked third for these funds. This focus demonstrates a vital commitment to understanding the crisis leaving our children without care, parents without options and businesses without employees. We also need a commitment to action. We have a unique and crucial local opportunity to fill resource gaps and ensure equity, access and quality in our early childhood ecosystem. We must take this opportunity to break down the barriers that prevent two generations of families from prospering, âsaid Mandy Simpson, Metro United Way Policy Director.
“This is a great opportunity for state and local governments to work together to address one of the most important issues facing our families after the pandemic,” said Minority Senate Leader Morgan McGarvey.
For more information:
Click here review other suggestions for using $ 20 million to support child care initiatives.
Majority Caucus Communications Officer