Escape your cabin fever - March is SLUSH MONTH! Learn more >>

CCYP Child Care Policy Position

Overview

Through our 2018 Community Needs Survey, we saw the issue of child care emerge as a critical need for young professionals on Cape Cod. This makes sense to us. As young workers put down roots, grow their careers, and start families, child and dependent care becomes an important factor to hold down a job, pursue opportunities, and generally make a life. If young parents can't find quality day care, Pre-K, or after school care options at a price they can afford, they may relocate to an area where child care is more accessible and attainable. But when young families move from our region, Cape Cod loses a vital piece of what makes our communities diverse, sustainable, and vibrant. Employers in our key economic sectors - like healthcare, hospitality, skilled trades, and banking - lose a pool of workers to fill their positions. And, perhaps most importantly, a new generation misses out on the opportunity to raise their families and live year-round in this amazing community.

In response to the growing need for child care providers and affordable, quality child care, the CCYP Board of Directors drafted and adopted an official policy position paper on the issue of child care in 2019. The Child Care Policy Position White Paper outlines a series of solutions to increase access to quality child care on Cape Cod, mitigate the high cost of care for working families, and provide training and assistance for care providers seeking to own or sustain a child care career or business. All of the solutions presented in the paper are grounded in research and expert opinions from the Cape's leading child care advocate organizations and regional authorities. CCYP actively uses the Policy Position Paper as a framework for any child care-related policy and advocacy efforts undertaken by our organization. The full text of the white paper is included below, or you can download it as a PDF here.

How to Get Involved!

Want to learn more or get involved? Check out our Child Care Resources page to learn more about support and resources available for young professionals looking for housing on Cape Cod. And read through our tips for civic engagement to learn how you can help make positive change on this issue!

CCYP Child Care Policy Position Paper

An Official Position Paper Adopted by the CCYP Board of Directors - June 12, 2019

Child care is a fundamental need for working parents and caregivers to remain and succeed on Cape Cod. Cape-area employers, in turn, need these individuals to sustain and grow their businesses and keep the region’s year-round economy vibrant. Unfortunately, finding affordable, high-quality child care is a major challenge for many local families.

  • In Massachusetts, the average monthly cost of center-based child care for an infant can meet or exceed the cost of a monthly mortgage or rent payment.
  • According to the Economic Policy Institute, Massachusetts is ranked 2nd out of all 50 states and the District of Columbia for most expensive child care, with a statewide average of $17,062 per year for one child.
  • On Cape Cod, particularly in the summer, these costs can be higher still, with full-time summer care programs for school-age children costing as much as $600 per week, per child.
  • A community needs assessment survey of local parents conducted in 2018 by Cape Cod Children’s Place found that child care tuition was a hardship for 69% of respondents.
  • The majority of Cape Cod’s early education (under age 5) child care programs have at least a one year wait list to enroll a child, indicating a shortage of care providers.

Both the high cost of child care and the limited availability of provider options contribute to the state of child care on Cape Cod. Though State child care vouchers can make care more affordable for some families, covering 60% of tuition costs, they do not necessarily make care more accessible due to the low number of providers who accept these vouchers. For local families who do not qualify for vouchers, the cost of child care combined with the high cost of housing creates a clear cost-burden. Further, our region is seeing declining numbers of early education and care programs overall, with providers citing the high cost of providing care, State regulatory standards, and difficulty finding employees, among other challenges. The resulting long wait lists can create a child care emergency for parents who work full-time jobs and cannot find a program to keep their child during the day.

To address the contributing factors to Cape Cod’s child care problem, CCYP supports local, state, and national policies that reduce or mitigate the high cost of child care; increase training, development, and funding support for child care professionals; and offer incentives and program models to help employers provide increased child care resources for their employees. Across all solutions, CCYP emphasizes the need for high quality child care options that provide working parents and caregivers to confidently enter, and remain in, the workforce year-round.

Support Local/Town Initiatives

CCYP urges towns to consider child care scholarships or “family funds,” year-round resident discounts, and public-private partnership solutions to diminish the cost burden for local families needing child care.

Support Child Care Professionals

The child care profession is an increasingly difficult career choice for Cape Codders. State qualifications are extensive and stringent, and few in the profession earn a living wage. CCYP supports training and certification programs, networks, and professional mentoring to encourage workers and business owners to enter and remain in this field.

Support Employer-Led Benefits

CCYP encourages local businesses to support child care resources for their workers, through the use of employer-provided child care scholarships, on-site care providers, remote work options, and other benefits that provide flexibility and support for working families. State tax incentives and credits for employers should also be considered to make these benefits more economically feasible for employers.

Support Relevant State Policy for Change

There are voices at the State level promoting programs to address the issues affecting child care, its costs and challenges. CCYP will monitor and disseminate information related to this issue, and support solutions that meet the particular needs facing working professionals and their families.