2023 Session: Early Childhood

Greater investments in both families and early childhood care and education professionals are mutually beneficial. 

One child care seat for every four children under the age of 6. Only 1 infant and toddler center seat for every 37 children. Average monthly rates for child centers range from $1,100 to $1,800. Child care providers earn on average between $13 and $17 per hour, which is far below what's needed to make a living wage.

HCAN Speaks! and the Hawaii Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance (HECAA) want to work with legislators to improve the entire early childhood care and education sector from birth through five, uplift the professionals at the heart of it and improve options for children and families. We recognize that greater investments in both families and early childhood professionals are mutually beneficial. And, we work to improve the system to work better for each. 

Supporting young keiki means supporting the workers who care for and educate them. 

HB391, HB547 / SB312

Families can’t afford to pay any higher prices, and child care providers can’t cut costs any further. To give all children equal access to child care, the Legislature must fill the gap and help build up the child care workforce. 

  • Infant & Toddler Child Care Worker Subsidy Pilot Program would require the Department of Human Services (DHS) to pilot a program to provide state-funded subsidies for infant and toddler child care center workers, who are often among the least paid in the child care sector. This program will allow DHS to pilot a needed component for early childhood care and education expansion by first focusing on the segment of the sector that needs it the most.

 

Let's get the child care we deserve.

HB261, HB583SB239

Every child deserves access to quality early learning programs. The good news is that the Legislature has the tools it needs to make this happen.

  • Child Care Accreditation Program would require DHS to establish a program to support child care providers to get accredited. Acts 46 (SLH 2020) and 210 (SLH 2021) require that child care providers who want to participate in Preschool Open Doors must gain accreditation by 2029 and start that process by 2024. The program would provide financial and technical supports for child care providers as well as adjust deadlines to allow more providers to begin the process.

 

A great child care system would benefit our entire state.

HB502 / SB311

When all families have equal access to child care, they have the ability to make choices that benefit our entire community and economy. Working parents can choose to return to their jobs, which also helps employers. They can choose to get the education they need to further their careers, which drives our state’s economic growth. Child care providers are small, local businesses. They can create more jobs that strengthen our local economy.

  • Infant & Toddler Child Care Contracted Slots Pilot Program would require DHS to pilot a program that would contract directly with licensed and registered child care providers to care for families receiving subsidies. Reestablishing the capacity for DHS to contract directly with providers will yield two benefits: 1) gives providers stability, ensuring that if a child leaves their care, they will still have the monthly income and 2) ensures access to child care spots for families in greatest need. This program again focuses on infant and toddler care so that DHS an pilot a needed component for early childhood care and expansion by first focusing on the segment of the sector that needs it the most.

Imagine what your life would look like if your keiki had access to quality child care and you didn't have to fight for a spot. It's time to ask your legislators: Are you doing everything you can to support families and children like mine? Are you properly supporting the workers that I am trusting with my keiki? Take action by signing up here.

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