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Recommendations to improve West Virginia child care presented to Legislature

By Taylor Stuck, The Herald-Dispatch

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The motto of the West Virginia Republican Party is to make West Virginia a better place to live, work and raise a family. Advocates say West Virginia can accomplish that now by taking advantage of the federal American Rescue Plan to make long-lasting changes to the state’s struggling early childhood education system.

Currently, 64% of West Virginians live in a child-care desert, said Dr. Jamie Jeffrey, pediatrician and associate clinical professor of pediatrics, WVU-Charleston, and early childhood education advocate. Jeffrey and other advocates testified to the Joint Committee on Health on Sunday, providing recommendations from the “Survive COVID and Thrive Tomorrow Child Care Policy Group.”

For those who do have access to child care, the average cost for one child for a year is more than the average cost of tuition at West Virginia University.

“During the pandemic, we really learned the need for child care,” Jeffrey said. “We learned it truly was an ‘essential’ service.” …

To read more:https://www.herald-dispatch.com/news/recommendations-to-improve-west-virginia-child-care-presented-to-legislature/article_9d9a50e0-5e26-5b6a-8850-bae0589ed7b6.html

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