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The Need

The years between birth and age six are the most critical and rapid period of learning. Ninety percent of a child’s brain growth occurs prior to age six. Interactions and experience during these formative years have a profound and lasting effect on a child’s linguistic, intellectual and emotional development.

Children who participate in high-quality childcare and preschool programs are more likely to enter kindergarten with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in school and throughout their schooling. Children who participate in preschool are more likely to graduate from high school and significantly less likely to need welfare or be involved in criminal activities.

Making quality childcare and early childhood education available to working families is one of the top problems facing Northern Virginia communities. The average cost for childcare services in Northern Virginia is estimated to exceed $12,000 per year. More than 25% of the median pre-tax income of the average family goes to childcare costs. As the cost of living in this area continues to escalate many families will continue to struggle and parents with young children are especially hard hit. These are but a few of the startling statistics around an important issue that DTC is committed to solving.

  • Making quality childcare and early childhood education available to working families is one of the top problems facing Northern Virginia communities.
  • Only one child out of six, ages 3-5, attends a quality early childhood program.
  • The average cost for childcare services in Northern Virginia is estimated to exceed $12,000 per year.
  • More than 25% of the median pre-tax income of the average family goes to childcare costs.
  • Approximately one-fourth of mothers in Fairfax County who do not work say it’s because they cannot find good or affordable child care.
  • Families participating in welfare programs are only eligible for one year of transition child care services after graduating from welfare.
  • A family of four may have a yearly income up to $55,008 to qualify for child care assistance while a study found that a family of four needs $59,600 to meet basic needs.
  • In Virginia, there are currently over 13,000 children on local waiting lists for childcare subsidies.

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