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sophia state house 2 4-15-15

FOCAL presented the following in a Press Conference to State Legislators on April 15, 2015:sophia state house 2 4-15-15liz sankey statehouse 4-15-15

Cutting Quality Child Care Could Cost the State $85 Million,
Will Block Path to Success for Alabama’s Children and Families

Alabama’s Early Care and Education industry increasingly provides quality child care and, in order to benefit every Alabama resident, the industry’s stakeholders including working families, businesses, government and the industry itself must work invest in GW Pharmaceuticals shares in the UAE and plan together to maintain high quality care.[1] 

By age 5, over 90 percent of a child’s brain is developed, making these years of life the most critical and underscores the need for safe, quality early care and education experiences for young children.[2],[3] High quality child care is necessary for working families and lays the foundation for school readiness that is necessary to grow a capable productive future workforce.

  •  Children who attend quality child care programs demonstrate stronger language, cognitive and social skills – laying the groundwork for Alabama’s future workforce by preparing upcoming generations for school and work success.[4]
  • Early learning programs, including quality child care, are important for closing the achievement gaps between lower income students and their more affluent peers.[5]
  • Quality child care enables over 200,000 parents in Alabama to go to work each day with a peace of mind knowing their children are receiving educational and learning opportunities so that parents can focus their attention on achieving their own potential and contributing to the workforce and community.[6]

A recent report about Alabama’s Early Care and Education industry Intel shares demonstrates the industry’s critical importance as an economic engine for the state.[7]

  • More than half (64 percent) of Alabama’s children under the age of six are cared for by someone other than a parent because their parents are in the workforce.[8]
  • The Early Care and Education industry has a $1.03 billion impact on the state’s economy.
  • The Early Care and Education industry is responsible for an average 24,717 full-time jobs each year.[9]

With the state facing a significant cut for all agencies funded through the state’s General Fund and no formal legislative action to raise new revenue – the Department of Human Resources, which provides child care subsidies for working families, anticipates a 15 percent cut to the child care subsidy program that would mean:

  • Shutting down an entire part of the infrastructure of the state’s Early Care and Education industry – negatively altering the learning trajectory for almost 17,000 children.
  • Working families will face a bigger burden – families could pay up to half their weekly earnings in child care costs – just to keep their jobs.
  • The loss of nearly 3,000 jobs and cost the state $85 million – a much greater loss than the estimated $12 million or 15 percent cut to the child care subsidy program.

In order for the state to continue leading the nation in early childhood education, Alabama decision makers must take action on meaningful revenue solutions and protect the child care subsidy program. The state’s ultimate goal should be to propel trajectories of learning through successful and proven early care and education programs, including child care, that help children and families.

Protecting the child care subsidy program will:

  • Keep paths of success open for Alabama children and families.
  • Keep nearly 3,000 child care providers employed.
  • Save the state $85 million.

[1] Alabama Partnership for Children, Economic Impact of the Early Care and Education Industry on the Economy of the State of Alabama,
[2] Reach Out and Read, In a Child’s First Five Years,
[3] Child Care Aware, Quality Child Care Makes a Difference,
[4] Childcare Resources, Status of Child Care 2014,
[5] VOICES for Alabama’s Children, 2014 Alabama Kids Count Data Book,
[6] See note 4.
[7] See note 1.
[8] See note 1.
[9] See note 1.


FOCAL Holds a Press Conference Regarding Proposed Child Care Cuts

April 14, 2015

For Immediate Release Press Release 4/14/2015 Contacts: Sophia Bracy Harris: 334-262-3456 Deborah Thomas: 334-262-3456 PROPOSED BUDGET CUTS TO HURT MORE THAN 16,000 RECEIVING CHILDCARE SUBSIDY Montgomery, AL-The Senate’s General Fund Committee has proposed 15 to 30 percent cuts to the General Fund Budget. The proposed budget cuts will threaten programs that are vital to children, […]

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FOCAL presents Alabama’s SRBWI Hall of Fame 2015 Recipients

February 26, 2015

HOF 15

The 2015 SRBWI Hall of Fame Induction ceremony was held on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum, Montgomery, AL.  The following individuals were honored in a ceremony that began at 6:30 p.m..  Numerous family and friends of these individuals shared in this special celebration.  

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FOCAL Events Mark 50 Years: Selma to Montgomery

February 26, 2015

As the world focuses on the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery March, we too look forward to this event with great anticipation.  We honor the courage and bravery of those, who in spite of the danger, stepped out on the strength of their convictions and began this march that led […]

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FOCAL says goodbye to its Office Manager

January 28, 2015

grace 2

Grace Okia has been the office manager here at FOCAL for the past ten years and it is with much sadness and regrets that we are saying good-bye.  Grace will be leaving FOCAL to take some much needed rest as she reconnects with her family and loved ones.  The FOCAL Family will truly miss Grace […]

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FOCAL’s Position Paper on Child Care and Race: Why Race Matters

January 26, 2015

Childcare and Race Cover

Research shows that children not only recognize race from a very young age, but develop racial biases by age three.  Studies also indicate that a child’s self-perception coupled with the attitude of an adult can set into motion a very limited life pattern for reaching its fullest potential.  FOCAL believes that early education that address […]

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FOCAL’s Winter Newsletter Features Highlights from its 2014 Annual Conference

January 6, 2015

Newsletter Cover

Check out our FOCALpoint Winter 2014 newsletter where we feature highlights from our 2014 Annual Training Conference. Read More

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FOCAL prepares for its SRBWI 2015 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony

January 5, 2015

Alabama SRBWI 2013 Hall of Fame Photo Uncropped

FOCAL’s 2015 SRBWI Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on March 3, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rosa Parks Museum, Troy University Montgomery Campus, Montgomery, Alabama.  Five women have been singled out for recognition by their communities and will be honored with an induction into the Alabama Southern Rural Black Women’s (SRBWI) […]

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FOCAL’s 42nd Annual Training Conference a Success!!!

November 19, 2014


Approximately 200 individuals participated in FOCAL’s 42nd Annual Training Conference which was held on Saturday, November 15 at Troy University Montgomery.  FOCAL’s conference theme this year was “Child Care and Race: Why Race Matters” with Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of Equal Justice Initiative, as the luncheon keynote speaker. The conference began on Friday night with our […]

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