Increase state funding for Georgia’s Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS) Program by at least $20 million to help maintain increased enrollment
Federal pandemic relief funding, which will end by September 2024, provided a critical lifeline for Georgia child care providers and allowed for several improvements to the CAPS program, including increasing enrollment by over 20,000 children.
By increasing state investment in CAPS, Georgia would go a long way in addressing the affordability and availability of high-quality child care for families with low incomes as well as strengthening the state’s economy by allowing parents to participate in the workforce.
Support the child care workforce
There has long been a struggle to recruit and retain early childhood educators, but it has reached a crisis level. While comprehensive and sustained investment in early educator compensation is needed to support this critical workforce, the state can utilize existing mechanisms to bolster educators’ economic security, such as by prioritizing children of income-eligible early educators for CAPS Scholarships.
In the fall of 2023, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) announced a pilot program that provides child care funding for the children of some early childhood educators. This represents a first step towards promoting early childhood educators’ economic security and the stability of the ECE workforce. Quite simply, professionals who work hard to provide quality care for others’ children should not have to worry about accessing quality care for their own children.