Letters to the Editor

Letter: Thanks for supporting child care

thread, Alaska’s Child Care Resource and Referral Network, thanks the Municipality of Anchorage Assembly for recognizing and supporting the needs of child care programs and families during the pandemic. Child care programs are receiving much-needed financial support as a result of the Assembly’s recent appropriation of $15.5 million of CARES Act funding for child care and families.

Many child care programs are open, but are navigating lower enrollments, increasing operational expenses and health risks. Programs are struggling to survive in these unprecedented conditions. In a survey conducted by thread in June, 61% of open child care programs statewide reported needing financial assistance to remain open, and of those that were temporarily closed, 54% anticipated needing funding to reopen before the end of the year. thread estimates child care across Alaska needs $10 million/month to sustain operations and recover from the impact of the pandemic.

In the face of these challenges, the Anchorage Assembly’s decision to dedicate local funding for child care was a vote to stabilize this essential infrastructure for families and businesses. The Assembly recognized what thread has known for years: The child care sector is the backbone of our economy, providing education and care for our young children while also facilitating parent participation/re-entry into the workforce. thread thanks each of the Assembly members for their work on this issue and advocacy for children and families.

The Municipality of Anchorage joins other local government, including the City and Borough of Juneau, the City of Ketchikan, the Borough of Ketchikan, the City and Borough of Sitka, the Petersburg Borough, and Gustavus in dedicating CARES Act funding to child care. thread is appreciative of all of these efforts to stabilize a system that has been undervalued for years despite its importance for our families, businesses and communities.

Learn more about high-quality child care and how Alaska can continue its efforts to stabilize this critical sector online at thread’s website, threadalaska.org.

Stephanie Berglund

CEO, thread



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