Family Voices Blog/Vlog Series


Welcome to our Family Voices Blog/Vlog series! These stories, written by families like you, will elevate the contemporary triumphs, challenges, and opportunities present in their local child care settings and the child care system as a whole. So, grab your favorite cup of coffee or tea to enjoy while you immerse yourself in the real-world child care experiences of families from across the nation.


Your Voice Can Make a Difference!

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The Lifetime Influence Child Care Providers Have on Children and Families

by Sonja, mother and child care provider
February 9, 2018

Like many, I started providing child care as a means of supplementing family income while being able to stay home with my own children. I had previous experience in my teenage years as a steady date-night sitter and as a substitute at a center. I intended to be a provider for a few years.

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VIDEO: Balancing Life – Finding Flexible Child Care for Parents with Demanding Schedules

by Kathy, a married mother of three
January 25, 2018

Kathy, a married mother of three, struggled with finding a child care facility that could accept and accommodate her children’s unique needs, as well as her and her husband’s demanding work schedules. With the help of child care, she and her husband were no longer forced to alternate days off and were able to return to working regular schedules.

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How I Navigated Finding Child Care, What I Learned

Kathy, a married mother of three, struggled with finding a child care facility that could accept and accommodate her children’s unique needs, as well as her and her husband’s demanding work schedules. With the help of child care, she and her husband were no longer forced to alternate days off and were able to return to working regular schedules.

We are moving to Germany,” my husband told me as he got his first official orders for the U.S. Army. I was so excited to be moving overseas I didn’t even think ahead to the fact that I may not be able to work. I was pregnant at the time with my first son and had just finished my master’s degree in public health.

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VIDEO: Help Can Come from an Unexpected Source

by Daniela Salinas, Mother of an 8-year-old son
December 21, 2017

Daniela Salinas’ access to quality child care has been limited by high costs.  Like many states around the nation the cost of child care in her home state is more expensive than college tuition.  Watch as Daniela shares how voucher and subsidy programs help families make child care more affordable and enabled her to finish college.

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The Role Families Play in Identifying Child Care Challenges and Identifying Solutions

by April Dodge-Ostendorf
December 7, 2017

Children and their families are the heart of early care and education. This year’s Child Care Aware® of America Leadership InstituteGrowing Momentum toward Breakthrough Solutions, provided fertile ground for child care resource and referral leaders to consider important issues like emergency preparedness, public policy, and professional development with themes of family engagement braided throughout.

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Video: How Finding the Perfect Child Care Provider Is Possible

by Guest Blogger, Priscilla Purnell, parent advocate and single mother of 2 girls
November 30, 2017

On October 18, I had the privilege and honor of sharing my personal experience in searching for the “perfect” child care setting for my two beautiful, smart, amazing, super energized daughters. Alongside four other incredible and inspiring Kansas City mothers, we had the opportunity to participate in a family voices panel to express our successes and challenges in finding our current child care provider.

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How a Local Child Care Resource and Referral Agency Can Strengthen Your Family

by Alma, mother of a 7-year-old daughter
November 20, 2017

Through the Kaleidoscope Play and Learn program and story time, both my daughters have received amazing school readiness skills. We also have met great friends and teachers there. I, as a parent, have been able to connect with other parents or caregivers and increase my family’s social connections. We have also used the library’s toy lending program and found it very useful.


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VIDEO: The Importance of a Locating a Nurturing Child Care Facility

by Guest Bloggers Amber and Travis Jones, parents of two children
November 16, 2017

Amber and Travis, married with two kids, work corporate jobs with long hours and worry about the type of influence that child care providers can have on their children. With the help of quality child care, they have the satisfaction of knowing their children are in a nurturing and compassionate environment.

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Relationships Matter – A Parent’s Perspective

by April Dodge-Ostendorf
November 1, 2017

Ever wonder what parents value in their relationships with child care providers? I wanted to know what it takes to meaningfully engage families so I turned to an expert! Meet Katey, a vivacious mom from Kansas. During a Q&A session, Katey provided a glimpse into what family engagement means to her family as she opened up about her relationship with her 2-year-old son’s family child care provider.

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Video: Not Just a Number: Finding the Right Fit for Her Child

by Guest Blogger Cristina, mother of an 8-year-old boy
October 27, 2017

Cristina, a married mother of two, worries about her children becoming just another number in day care facilities. With the help of quality child care, her children are able to have access to a child care facility that emphasizes an emotionally supportive atmosphere, which has given Cristina the reassurance she needs.

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Special Edition: The Impact of the Parent Provider Relationships

by Guest Bloggers Emma (former child care provider and parent) and Danielle (Parent)
October 17, 2017

Compensation is a struggle for many child care providers who provide high-quality, affordable child care and an essential early education setting for children, but mutually supportive relationships between families and child care providers are particularly important during transitions. Read each of these companion pieces below which talk about the impact a closing child care center can have on both a family and the child care provider themselves.

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Riding Out the Storm

by Guest Blogger, Christine, a parent and child care provider
September 25, 2017 |

We got hit by a tornado on a Sunday afternoon in late May. It was a holiday weekend, so most of our neighbors were out of town. I was out shopping in Forest Lake with my 4 year old, and my husband was at home.  We were experiencing a terrible storm in Forest Lake—it was green outside and hailed for a very long time, longer than I’d ever seen before. I called my husband to ask about the weather, and he said it was not even raining in Hugo, but looking north toward Forest Lake he saw what looked like a bad storm.

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The Next Chapter: Knocking on the Door to Kindergarten

It hardly seems possible that we are in the midst of transitioning from preschool to kindergarten with our oldest child. How did that curious little infant we had 5 years ago move so quickly through toddlerhood and preschool? Yet, we are rapidly approaching the first day of kindergarten and a host of emotions that come along with that. Our daughter has drawn maps of her bike route to school, has woken up early to time her route on her bike, has practiced writing letters to friends who she will be leaving behind at preschool, and has carefully chosen her backpack, pencils, markers, and other school supplies.

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Family Voices Successful at Driving Federal Policy

by Kim Engelman, Chief of Family & Community Engagement
September 1, 2017

In the Spring of 2017, families from across the nation joined early care and education system professionals in Washington, D.C. These families traveled from all four corners of the United States including Washington, California, Florida, Maine and 18 other states in between. It was incredible to witness the diversity this group encompassed and their passion to unite on behalf of children and families across the country.

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From One Family to Another: Tips to Make the Transition Easier

By Guest blogger, Tammy, parent advocate

August 29, 2017

One parent shares her experience on transitioning children from child care to school. From one parent to another, this mother provides tips on transitioning, including doing your homework on the child care center, interviewing the director and requesting a tour, bringing your child to the facility, maintaining a consistent drop-off schedule, and taking the transition one day at a time.

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Sick, Absent, or Forgotten? How a Change in Routine Can Become Deadly in Minutes

by Guest blogger, Kristie Reeves, parent advocate
July 31, 2017

Have you ever had a child in your child care program not arrive by her usual arrival time and simply rationalized that the child must be sick or on vacation today? My mission is to show you how this assumption can have lethal consequences for dozens of young children annually. How? Each year since 1998, an average of 37 children have perished due to what is known as vehicular heatstroke, also referred to as vehicular hyperthermia or child hot car deaths. At the time of this blog, 23 cases have been documented in 2017, and more than 723 since 1998.

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The Exorbitant Cost of Child Care: A Millennial Parent Perspective

By Guest blogger, Typhani Short, millennial and single parent 
July 6, 2017

I am a 26-year-old single mother of a beautiful little girl. I love being a parent. But the cost of child care for a child under the age of two is so expensive in the Washington, DC metro area. More than half of my paycheck goes to child care. As millennial, that is not much money starting out for a single parent. I thought making just over $48K a year would be the best thing in the world until I realized that I won’t be able to qualify for state assistance anymore.
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The Struggle of Finding Affordable, Quality Care for a Child with Special Needs

By Guest blogger, Bianca, single mother of a child with special needs
June 28, 2017
Bianca, a single mother of a four-year-old son with special needs, faced the difficult choice of staying home to take care of her son or working herself into the ground to make ends meet. With the help of affordable, quality child care she was able to continue to work without worrying about the safety or well-being of her son.


See more videos here.


A Dad’s Perspective: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

By Guest Blogger, Travis Jones, husband and father of two
June 13, 2017

February 24, 2012 was the day my life changed! I became a father to a precious baby girl. As a newly minted parent, I wanted to provide the best possible life for her. My wife was fortunate to have banked enough vacation and sick time to stay home for the first 12 weeks after birth, and I was able to modify my schedule to maximize my time with our daughter during those early formative months. Like many Americans with infants, maternity leave ended, and my wife went back to work earlier than both of us would have liked.
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The Role Child Care Plays for Single Parents

By Guest Blogger, April, single mom of five
May 16, 2017

Child care was a lifesaver for my family and me. I am a single mom and have taken my three children to child care since they were 2 years old. I would not have been able to support my family without child care. When my children turned of age in 2012 I also received custody of my niece and nephew. I took them to the same family child care home that my children went to. The kids loved it. They participated in so many learning activities, were well fed, and loved it like they were in their own home.

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A Mother’s Story: The Challenge and Gift of Affording Quality Child Care

By Guest Blogger, Brittany, mother of two
May 16, 2017

I work in the nonprofit sector. It is something I am incredibly passionate about, but I do not make a lot of money. I have twin boys that are just over a year-and-a-half old now. They are in child care and have been since they were infants. Fortunately, I was able to get an ABC voucher that greatly offsets the cost of their child care. (I currently pay $100 per week). If I didn’t have an ABC voucher then I would be paying $1,600 per month or more for child care. There is no way I could afford that. There is no way that most people could afford that.

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Child Care Aware® of America Introduces the Family Voices Blog/Vlog Series

by Kim Engelman, Chief of Family & Community Engagement
May 22, 2017

Welcome to our Family Voices Blog/Vlog series! Grab your favorite cup of coffee or tea to enjoy while you immerse yourself in the real-world child care experiences of families from across the nation. These stories all have been written or video logged by people just like you and me who care deeply about the child care choices they have and see immense value in the opportunities that early care and education services offer for children, families, employers, and communities.
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Share Your Child Care Story!

Parent experiences with child care are both important and impactful! These stories can have a huge impact with regard to policy decisions; for example, they can help policymakers understand that they need to work to make child care more affordable or that the quality of child care needs to be improved.

Your voice matters, and your story can make a difference in the safety, quality, and affordability of child care!

We invite you to use the link below to share your child care story and would love to hear your thoughts on any of the following:

  • provider compensation
  • child care search, helpful child care information
  • important considerations when choosing a child care provider
  • relationship with child care provider
  • the cost of child care, biggest child care related challenge
  • determining high-quality child care
  • keeping your child safe in a child care setting
  • finding child care for a child with special needs

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