"No parent should have to choose between the job they need and the child they love."
-Marian Wright Edelman
Since 1998, the Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative has been a champion for investing in quality care for all of Mississippi's children. We work to improve quality, advocate for investments, and build grassroots support for a statewide network of early childhood education and development providers.
Mississippi has nearly 17,000 child care centers serving about 100,000 children under five years of age. Enrolling a child at these centers is expensive – sometimes costing as much or more than college tuition. Mississippi's Child Care Payment Program helps low-income working parents afford early childhood education and care programs. These programs have been proven to increase employment, reduce poverty, reduce absenteeism and turnover for employers, contribute more tax revenue into the general fund, and support school readiness in children.
As Nobel Prize winning economist James Heckman shows in his Heckman Equation, early investment in early and equal human development leads to great gains. Indeed, creating affordable, high-quality early childhood care and education fosters growing minds, stabilizes working families, and lays a foundation for a prosperous Mississippi.
Despite the benefits of early childhood education, the Mississippi Child Care Payment Program only serves a fraction of eligible children. The Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative works to change that.