A coalition of childcare centers across the state today is delivering a message to key state lawmakers about priorities for the federal American Rescue Plan (ARP) and state funding for early care and education.

“We have a petition with 1,159 signatures from providers, teachers and families in our base of over 500 community-based childcare centers across the state.”

The “Kids Count On Us” coalition’s Kessa Andrews is calling on lawmakers to raise wages for staff, to use childcare assistance program funding to raise the reimbursement rate to 50-percent for families, and to use a small portion allocated for creating a department of early childhood at the state level.