August 13, 2019 Community Members Encouraged to “Call It Child Care” In June 2018, the Pennsylvania state legislature passed House Bill 1677 to update Pennsylvania’s regulations and code to use the term “child care” rather than “day care” to reflect the work of early learning programs more accurately. Trying Together worked closely with the bill’s prime sponsor, Representative Jason Ortitay, who represents Allegheny and Washington counties. To further support this effort, Trying Together is launching the “Call It Child Care” initiative. Why Call It Child Care? Trying Together recognizes that shifting commonly used language can be difficult. However, by using the term “child care” instead of “day care,” you recognize that: 1. The impact of child care is much longer than a day. Early childhood programs support lifelong success for children and families. Research has shown that high-quality child care builds a strong foundation from which children grow and thrive. By having access to early care and education programming, families experience multi-generational benefits, with young children achieving higher test scores and graduation rates, committing fewer crimes, and earning higher wages, to name a few. Caregivers are able to reenter the workforce, increasing the financial stability of the family and the long-term professional success of the caregiver. 2. The words we use matter. The words we use affect the public’s perception of the early care and education field and affect the field’s own accountability in providing high-quality care. Using “child care” rather than “day care” recognizes the important work of these professionals, in addition to the work children put in to learn, develop, and grow. Accurate language is critical to gaining respect, validation, and investments in currently under-resourced systems. 3. “Child care” acknowledges the complexity of high-quality early care and education programs. High-quality child care programs employ, develop, and retain educated credentialed staff. Child care professionals use a curriculum, lesson plans, and family engagement activities to promote the cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development of the children they serve. How You Can Help Please join us in the coming months as an advocate for the “Call It Child Care” initiative. If you’re an early care and education professional, use the term “child care” when speaking about your work and update your materials as needed. If you’re a family or community member, embrace the term “child care” and use it when referencing your child’s program! Digital Resource Toolkit Interested in doing more? Use our digital resource toolkit to advocate for “Call It Child Care” today! Help spread the word about using the term “child care” by having conversations with your colleagues, family, and friends. Share a graphic on social media and tell your followers about the initiative. Write a letter or email to the families in your early learning program. Print the Call It Child Care posters and post them around your office or program. Read a letter from the Trying Together Executive Director. Learn More To learn more about the initiative, visit our Call It Child Care page.