The historical and largest investment in education shows the public commitment in public dollars. The American Rescue Plan Funding offers an opportunity to strengthen and sustain the early childhood education sector. This historical investment was made in response to the need for childcare and its impact on the workforce as a result of COVID-19. Compensation and adequate pay must be priority along with the true cost of quality care which essentially impacts our entire community. Wage supplements for early childhood professionals are critical.
Mayor Duggan recently requested your feedback surrounding the Detroit Future Fund via a survey in May and June. Thank you all for elevating your voices once again. The survey results display some of the top funding priorities recommended by Detroit residents. Given the results thus far, it is necessary for us to implement an early childhood workforce strategy which sustains recruiting, retaining, and training high quality early childhood professionals. The early childhood sector needs multiple preparation pathways, extended credentialing/certification opportunities, and ongoing professional development. We need to continue to push on the development of a cross-sector early childhood workforce strategy which will increase the overall quality and sustainability of Detroit’s early childhood programs.
As a reminder, Hope Starts Here (HSH) policy levers are equitable access, quality, and affordability. Each lever could be positively impacted through the strategic distribution of ARPA funds. We must get this right for our future and the livelihood of our youngest citizens. Continue to elevate your voice, share your own stories, and together we will see the change we need to see. Your input also informs the HSH annual policy agenda. Please consider joining us as a Champion for Hope. Thank you for your partnership!