Early Childhood

Child-Care Advocacy Group Closes Down After 20 Years

By Linda Jacobson — April 23, 2003 2 min read

After 20 years of advocating for higher-quality child care, the Child Care Action Campaign will close at the end of next month.

The growth of child care as a state issue, instead of a national one, combined with a “shrinking base of public and private funding,” led to the nonprofit organization’s decision to shut down, according to a press release.

Faith Wohl, the president of the New York City-based group, attributes the declining resources to the fact that a wide variety of business, government, and nonprofit organizations have identified the improvement of child-care services as a top priority.

“We didn’t see an end coming,” Ms. Wohl said in an interview last week. “We did see the need to set out on a new mission, but it’s difficult to start down a whole new road.”

Founded in 1983 by Elinor C. Guggenheimer, an activist for women’s and children’s issues in New York City, the Child Care Action Campaign has issued a number of reports and has been involved in a variety of initiatives to improve child care and early-childhood education.

In 2000, for example, the organization completed a two-year research project and released a report on partnerships in low-income communities linking Head Start, child-care providers, and public schools. The report, “Partnering for Success: Community Approaches to Early Learning,” showed that superintendents were key players in determining the success of school-based prekindergarten programs.

Also in 2000, the group organized a forum for superintendents in New York and surrounding states to encourage the development of such partnerships.

The Child Care Action Campaign has also worked to build support for New York’s universal pre-K program as well as other state-financed preschool initiatives throughout the country.

Future of Projects

Ms. Wohl added that the staff was working to place three of its projects—the group’s newsletter, an early- literacy program, and a series of brainstorming sessions about the future of early-childhood education—with other organizations. The organization’s Web site, www.childcareaction.org, will probably stay up until the end of the year, Ms. Wohl said.

With a staff of about 10 people, the organization has had an annual budget of roughly $1.3 million in recent years. Major donors have included the Citigroup Foundation, the Hasbro Children’s Foundation, AOL Time Warner, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation.

The group’s board of directors said that the end of the organization comes on a positive note and that many of the group’s original goals have been met.

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