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May 3, 2022

May 6th Proclaimed Child Care Professional Appreciation Day

On Tuesday, May 3, Skagit County Commissioners signed a proclamation officially recognizing May 6, 2022, as Child Care Professional Appreciation Day. Child Care Aware of America convenes Provider Appreciation Day each year to amplify our nation’s collective gratitude for those who support the social, emotional, and physical care of our youngest children.

Skagit County Public Health, Child Care Aware of Northwest Washington, and the Population Health Trust delivered a joint presentation during Tuesday’s proclamation hearing, highlighting our community’s dedicated child care providers and the vital services that they provide to children and families living and working in Skagit County.

Over half the children under the age of six nationwide are estimated to spend some time in a nonparental care arrangement on a weekly basis, which provides critical enrichment opportunities and nurtures development for children of all backgrounds. In Skagit County, nearly 60 percent of children under 6 years old reside in households that depend on child care because all the adults are employed.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has created tremendous hardship for child care providers and the families of Skagit County who depend on them. Despite these challenges, local child care providers have continued to meet the needs of families while risking their health and financial stability to remain open.
Even still, there has been a net loss of nearly 150 providers and approximately 1,500 child care slots across Washington State since the pandemic began, and this decline has disproportionately impacted communities. In Skagit County, the number of child care providers has dropped from 103 with capacity for 2,573 children in 2017, to 87 providers with capacity for 2,349 children in December of 2021.

Said Jennifer Sass-Walton, Skagit County Public Health Child & Family Health Division Manager: “While Skagit County has provided relief to providers to help sustain the viability of child care throughout the pandemic, there is still much work that needs to be done to increase access to affordable, quality child care services in Skagit.”

The Population Health Trust’s 2022 COVID Recovery Plan has identified child care as a foundational public health need in Skagit County. As a primary area of focus, the Trust has specifically prioritized the critical need to increase access to high quality, affordable, and equitable child care over the coming years.

Child Care Aware of Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assuring that every child in Washington has access to high-quality child care and early learning programs. For a list of child care providers in your area, information about financial assistance, or a comprehensive list of resources, visit https://childcareawarewa.org/ or call the Family Call Center at 1-800-446-1114.