WASHINGTON, Sept. 24, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC) providers put the health and safety of the children and families they serve at the forefront of every decision they make. This is the case now more than ever as our nation works to combat the rapidly spreading Delta variant of the coronavirus and any future variants that might emerge. To that end, nine of our corporate members—Bright Horizons, Cadence Education, Childcare Network, KinderCare Education, Learning Care Group, Little Sprouts, The Malvern School, The Nest Schools and New Horizon Academy—have implemented policies that require all their staff to be vaccinated against or undergo weekly testing for COVID-19. Our remaining members strongly support and unequivocally recommend employees getting the vaccine, and many are in the process of developing and rolling out similar policies.
As leaders in the child care industry, we are incredibly supportive of the new measures proposed by President Biden to require vaccination for both government workers and those at private businesses with 100 or more employees. We recognize that such measures are necessary to help protect our children, employees and their families, especially because the vaccine is not yet available for the children in our care. While children had been relatively safe from the coronavirus throughout much of the pandemic, the Delta variant is a reminder that the pandemic is not over, and we must act accordingly.
ECEC and its members stand ready to do everything in our power to protect our children, employees and families. ECEC providers have demonstrated their leadership throughout the pandemic, keeping their doors open and implementing extensive health and safety measures to serve our nation's essential workforce. We continue to adapt so our communities can return to normal and families can feel secure knowing we are doing all we can to keep the children in our centers safe from the coronavirus. Vaccines will also help protect our teachers, allowing them to safely interact with the children in their care. Vaccinations are the most effective tool we have to fight this virus, and ECEC providers are committed to providing the safest learning environments possible.
As the federal and state governments continue to implement vaccine requirements, we strongly urge that coverage for the cost of testing be taken into consideration. States should consider making tests available for free or creating grant funds with money from the American Rescue Plan Act to cover the cost of testing.
ECEC is a nonprofit alliance of the leading multi-state/multi-site child care providers, key state child care associations, and premier educational service providers, representing over 7,000 programs serving nearly a million children in 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and select international locations. ECEC serves as the unified collective voice for providers of high-quality programs and services that support families and children from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. They are advocates for federal and state policies that expand access to and affordability of results-driven, high-quality early childhood programs.
SOURCE Early Care & Education Consortium (ECEC)