Washington, DC – The Bipartisan Policy Center announced the launch of the Early Childhood and Business Advisory Council, a joint initiative between BPC and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) to support the expansion of high-quality, affordable child care in communities and states across the United States.
The Early Childhood and Business Advisory Council aims to strengthen connections between business and early childhood communities in locations where local Chambers of Commerce have identified child care as a priority and in coordination with state and local early childhood advocates, proprietors, and state administrators.
“Child care is among the few issues that has bipartisan support both in DC and throughout the nation—child care is a family issue, a workforce issue, and an economic issue,” said Linda Smith, BPC director of the Early Childhood Initiative. “Child care is also founded on a broken business model that contributes to the significant lack of access for many families looking to enter or remain in the workforce. BPC has always believed addressing the child care crisis requires an all the above and an all hands-on deck approach. Our local Chambers and leaders in the business community bring a vital perspective to the table, and we look forward to working with them to identify innovative solutions to increase supply and options for working families.”
“We have long advocated for the importance of child care to the American workforce,” said Cheryl Oldham, U.S. Chamber Foundation senior vice president. “The Chamber Foundation and BPC are honored to support organizations across the country as they work together to identify the solutions that make it possible for families and communities to thrive.”
Over the course of this initiative, the Council will work together to identify the most pressing child care challenges in select regions and create unified action plans to address them. BPC and the USCCF will provide members of the Council with expert technical assistance, resource development, and increased capacity for networking opportunities.
The regions included in this initiative were represented by members of the early childhood and business communities:
- Huntsville, Alabama
- Lucia Cape, Senior Vice President, Economic Development, Chamber of Commerce of Hunstville/Madison County
- Gail B. Piggot, Executive Director, Alabama Partnership for Children
- Faye Nelson, Deputy Commissioner, Family Resources for Alabama Department of Human Services
- Kati Capozzi, President and CEO, Alaska Chamber of Commerce
- Stephanie Berglund, CEO, THREAD Alaska
- Maricopa County, Arizona
- Grace Appelbe, Director of Policy and Government Affairs, Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Liz Barker Alvarez, Chief Policy Advisor, First Things First
- Lori Masseur, Early Childhood Education Director and State Head Start Collaboration Office Director
- Alex LeBeau, President, Idaho Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Beth Oppenheimer, Executive Director, Idaho AEYC
- Charles Aull, Senior Policy Analyst, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
- Sarah Taylor Vanover, Policy and Research Director, Kentucky Youth Advocates
- Kara Corches, Vice President of Government Affairs, Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Craig Stevenson, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Kids Win Missouri
- Missoula, Montana
- Kim Latrielle, Missoula Area Chamber of Commerce
- Grace Decker, Partner, Missoula County Collaborative Coordinator, Zero to Five
- Patty Butler, Bureau Chief and Child Care Development Fund State Administrator, Early Childhood Services
- South Dakota
- David Owen, President, South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Kayla Klein, President and CEO, Klein Visioneering Group
- Austin, Texas
- Kwee Lan Teo, Vice President of Talent Development, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
- Sandy Dochen, Early Matters Greater Austin
Moving forward, BPC and the USCCF will regularly engage with each regional team consisting of state and local early childhood stakeholders and Chamber staff to identify shared child care challenges and opportunities to address these challenges as BPC and the USCCF provide technical assistance and resources to support this effort. In addition, BPC and the USCCF will collect best practices and lessons learned to inform similar initiatives in the future from states not in this cohort.
To learn more about the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Early Childhood Initiative, visit their website or contact Brittany Walsh, BPC associate director of the Early Childhood Initiative. To learn more about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s work in early childhood education, visit their website or contact Aaron Merchen, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation director of early childhood education, programs, and policy.
The Bipartisan Policy Center would like to acknowledge support for this initiative from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, and the Ballmer Group.
About the Bipartisan Policy Center
The Bipartisan Policy Center is a Washington, DC-based think tank that actively fosters bipartisanship by combining the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans. BPC’s policy solutions are the product of informed deliberations by former elected and appointed officials, business and labor leaders, and academics and advocates who represent both sides of the political spectrum. BPC prioritizes one thing above all else: getting things done.
About the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.