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NV conservation group supports FERC's transmission planning rule; Memorial Day weekend includes Tornadoes and record-high temperatures; A focus on the Farm Bill for Latino Advocacy Week in D.C; and Southeast Alaska is heating homes with its rainfall.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

As KY child care crisis worsens, advocates highlight career pathways

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Monday, April 15, 2024   

The shrinking supply of child-care workers continues to impact Kentucky, and advocates say helping more people receive a Child Development Associate degree could fill critical gaps in child care and early learning - especially in rural regions.

Jennifer Roe is an early-childhood coordinator with Save the Children's Early Steps Program who's currently enrolled in a CDA program at Eastern Kentucky University.

She said it hasn't been easy working full time while in school, but says Save the Children's Career Pathways Program has helped with tuition and other resources, putting her on track on track to graduate next spring.

"When I walk across that stage with that diploma in my hand, it's going to be one of the most rewarding things I've ever done," said Roe. "And not only for myself, but for the families that I serve and for my community."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average, more than 153,000 openings for child-care workers are projected over the next decade - largely driven by the need to replace workers who have left the field or retired.

Save the Children's Career in Education Workforce Development Managing Director Karen Harrison said the program aims to reduce barriers to obtaining a credential or higher-education degree.

"We either pay all or partial of their tuition," said Harrison. "We pay stipends for books, supplies and materials. And we also give barrier-reduction stipends; we know that child care for participants themselves can be an issue."

Roe added that a CDA degree opens the door to immediate job opportunities working in day-care centers, opening a child-care business, or teaching preschool.

"We can't wait 'til they get to kindergarten and expect them to know their ABCs and such," said Roe. "They've got to know when they get there because, if they don't, they're already behind."

Meanwhile, Kentucky child-care providers say the state's industry is on the verge of collapse when federal pandemic funds expire this fall.

In a recent letter, hundreds of providers across the state asked lawmakers to pass a supplemental funding bill to help centers stay afloat.




Disclosure: Save the Children contributes to our fund for reporting on Children's Issues, Early Childhood Education, Education, Poverty Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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