Councilwomen Chambers Armstrong, Dorsey advocate investing $20 million in ARP funds to address Louisville’s childcare needs

November 24, 2021

Metro United Way, state leaders co-sign letter to the mayor in support of the funding

Louisville – Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-8) and Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey (D-3) sent a letter to Mayor Greg Fischer requesting his public support of a $20 million investment in childcare improvements across 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 ranked childcare as one of its top priorities for distributing the city’s second round of American Rescue Plan funds.

While there are discussions on state and federal levels regarding more potential funding for the field of childcare, Councilwoman Chambers Armstrong and Councilwoman Dorsey believe Metro Government has the responsibility and the resources available now to ensure equitable access to early learning opportunities, boost the city’s workforce, and make a lasting difference.

The Metro Council work group dedicated to this topic sent out a Request for Information on Thursday asking for specific suggestions and ideas that could address the current gaps in the childcare system. The work group will advocate to address the issues and needs that come to light based on this process.

For Example:

Kentucky’s Division of Child Care has committed $763 million in ARP funds to childcare. The majority of the funding must be used for direct sustainability stipends to childcare providers that raise wages up to $10-$13 per hour.

Unfortunately, Louisville’s median hourly wage for childcare workers is $9.78, which would leave many providers without access to these funding resources. One of the suggestions for the ARP funding includes offering wage supplements for underpaid early-learning educators so that more providers can access state matching programs.

In Support:

"It's wonderful to see our state and federal officials take action to address childcare needs in our city. But this is an issue that needs all levels of government working together, and local government must be a partner in this work. High-quality early learning opportunities are important building blocks to creating a healthy, peaceful, thriving society. I cannot think of a more important priority for us to focus on,” said Councilwoman Cassie Chambers Armstrong (D-8).

“If you ever want to see what’s important to a city and its people, look at where the money is being spent. I am proud to support this effort to provide necessary and critical funds for the benefit of all our children. This has to be a priority for all of us,” said Councilwoman Keisha Dorsey (D-3).

“We commend Metro Council and the Mayor for their deliberations on American Rescue Plan Act investments in childcare and early childhood education – a priority our community ranked as its third highest 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 address gaps in resources and ensure equity, access, and quality in our early childhood ecosystem. We must take it to break down the barriers holding back two-generations of families from thriving,” said Metro United Way Chief Policy Officer Mandy Simpson.

“This is a great opportunity for state and local government to work together to solve one of the most important issues our families are facing after the pandemic,” said Minority Senate Leader Morgan McGarvey.

For More Information:

Click here to review the other suggestions for using $20 million to support childcare initiatives.

 

Media Contact:

Katrina Helmer

Majority Caucus Communications Manager

502-526-3622 (c)

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