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Child Care NEXT is identifying up to five states ripe for transformational change in their child care systems — and will work with teams in those states to bring that transformation to life.

While efforts to rebuild an economy ravaged by COVID-19 have brought the glaring inadequacies of our nation’s child care system into the spotlight, early childhood advocates have known for decades that the inefficient and inequitable current models fall well short of what is needed for children in working families, employers, early childhood educators, and states’ economies. Incremental improvements to child-care funding and policy have been implemented sporadically in numerous states over the years, but the system needs an overhaul to create a next-generation state-wide child care model that is designed for 21st century families and needs.  

An initiative to do just that — called Child Care NEXT — has been launched by the Alliance for Early Success, along with the national steering committee of early childhood and grassroots organizations that will advise the Alliance on the process to select and support the cohort of three to five states. 

Interested organizations should complete this Letter of Interest no later than March 12.

Child Care NEXT states will be selected based on the boldness of their vision for change, likely success of the plans, and their attention to other key principles, such as racial equity. 

Child Care NEXT state teams are comprised of policy advocates, grassroots activists, and other stakeholders who know what their states’ families most need. Their campaigns will advance a roughly 10-year “north star” goal that will transform elements like affordability, accessibility, educator compensation, and program quality. Cohort states receive both technical assistance and substantial long-term funding to support these campaigns.

“Parents, providers, and early-childhood advocates on the ground know what the right next-generation systems for their states are. This is an effort to ‘call the question,’ about what we mean when we say child care is essential and get on with the work of actual implementation — and proving to policymakers what this transformation can mean for a state.”

Albert Wat, Senior Policy Director
Alliance for Early Success