The Alabama Movement for Child Care (TAMCC) Leadership Team Meets with Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR)
The Alabama Movement for Child Care (TAMCC) continues its effort to organize child care providers, workers, and parents to ensure a child care system that works for all. On September 13, 2021, TAMCC sent a letter to Commissioner Nancy T. Buckner outlining movement goals and concerns regarding the system of child care in Alabama. TAMCC received a response and met with Department of Human Resources (DHR) child care officials on October 26, 2021, to discuss issues and suggested solutions to reducing increased industry burdens, including during this lingering pandemic.
TAMCC providers encouraged DHR to utilize available federal funding through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to provide immediate aid to stabilize our child care and early education system as we strive to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, we encouraged Alabama’s state leadership to take advantage of this unprecedented funding opportunity to make fundamental improvements to the child care system moving forward, including transitioning from a market-rate to a true cost-based funding model for child care and increasing workforce pay and benefits.
Following this discussion, TAMCC sent a follow up letter to Deputy Commissioner Faye Nelson presenting recommendations for implementation of the $451,360,337 in Child Care Stabilization Grant Funds and the $281,637,028 in CCDF Discretionary Grant Funds the state of Alabama has received from the American Rescue Plan Act. These recommendations included transitioning from the failed market-rate model to a cost-based model for funding child care, and addressing the historical under compensation and lack of employee benefits for child care workers. 
TAMCC Leadership also encouraged DHR to think creatively and strategically about how these funds can be used and provided examples of how other states intend to use ARPA monies to make fundamental improvements to their child care systems.
As a result of this outreach, TAMMC and DHR have agreed to meet quarterly as part of ongoing engagement efforts and to discuss both the opportunities and challenges child care providers and workers as well as our children and families face. Our first regular meeting was held last month; and we look forward to continuing to engage with the Department as we work to establish Alabama as a leader in post-pandemic child care by creating a stronger, more stable child care system that treats child care as a public good, vital to the well-being of our society and economy, and affordable and accessible for all.