USDA and HHS Launch Resource Guide to Help Rural Communities Increase Access to Child Care Services

U.S. Department of AgricultureImage via USDA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development Katie Hamm this week unveiled a joint resource guide to help people in rural and Tribal communities increase access to child care services.

“Access to quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities is imperative for rural America. It enables parents to work, strengthens the economy and supports children’s overall development by laying the groundwork for future success in school and life,” Maxson said. “Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary Vilsack, USDA remains committed to helping rural and Tribal communities build back better by strengthening child care infrastructure and by meeting the increasing demand for affordable, quality child care for working families.”

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Hamm added, “The first few years of life, particularly birth to five, set the foundation for development, learning, behavior and lifelong outcomes. Various studies have shown that access to high-quality early childhood education is associated with positive life outcomes. That’s why I am so excited about this guide and the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing support for early learning and child care. It is so important that we continue to invest in early childhood infrastructure and supply building – particularly in rural and Tribal communities – where child care and early childhood development options are already limited. We are committed to working with these communities to meet the growing need for quality, affordable early childhood programs.”

The joint resource guide follows the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of the American Families Plan (AFP). The guide responds to the AFP, which targets investments to support America’s children and families – helping families cover the basic expenses that so many struggle with now, including lowering health insurance premiums and continuing the American Rescue Plan’s historic reductions in child poverty.

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The guide was developed in partnership by USDA Rural Development and the Office of Early Childhood Development in HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF). It provides useful information to help stakeholders in rural communities – including Tribes and Tribal organizations – address the need for improved access to affordable, high-quality child care and early learning facilities through USDA and HHS funding and technical assistance resources.

For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit the GovDelivery subscriber page.

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