WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2021 – United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Justin Maxson and Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Deputy Assistant Secretary for Early Childhood Development Katie Hamm today unveiled a joint resource guide (PDF, 3.5 MB) to help people in rural and Tribal communities increase access to child care services.

“Access to quality, affordable child care and early learning opportunities is imperative for rural America. It enables parents to work, strengthens the economy and supports children’s overall development by laying the groundwork for future success in school and life,” Maxson said. “Under the leadership of President Biden, Vice President Harris and Secretary Vilsack, USDA remains committed to helping rural and Tribal communities build back better by strengthening child care infrastructure and by meeting the increasing demand for affordable, quality child care for working families.”

Hamm added: “The first few years of life, particularly birth to five, set the foundation for development, learning, behavior and lifelong outcomes."

"Various studies have shown that access to high-quality early childhood education is associated with positive life outcomes. That’s why I am so excited about this guide and the Biden-Harris Administration’s ongoing support for early learning and child care. It is so important that we continue to invest in early childhood infrastructure and supply building – particularly in rural and Tribal communities – where child care and early childhood development options are already limited. We are committed to working with these communities to meet the growing need for quality, affordable early childhood programs.”

The joint resource guide follows the Biden-Harris Administration’s announcement of the American Families Plan (AFP). The guide responds to the AFP, which targets investments to support America’s children and families – helping families cover the basic expenses that so many struggle with now, including lowering health insurance premiums and continuing the American Rescue Plan’s historic reductions in child poverty.

The guide was developed in partnership by USDA Rural Development and the Office of Early Childhood Development in HHS’ Administration for Children and Families (ACF). It provides useful information to help stakeholders in rural communities – including Tribes and Tribal organizations – address the need for improved access to affordable, high-quality child care and early learning facilities through USDA and HHS funding and technical assistance resources.

Under the Biden-Harris Administration, Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs and improve the quality of life for millions of Americans in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural, Tribal and high-poverty areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov. If you’d like to subscribe to USDA Rural Development updates, visit our GovDelivery subscriber page.

ACF promotes the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals and communities. ACF programs aim to empower families and individuals to increase their economic independence and productivity; encourage strong, healthy, supportive communities that have a positive impact on quality of life and the development of children. For more information, visit: www.acf.hhs.gov, and to subscribe to the Office of Early Childhood Development’s newsletter, email: earlychildhooddevelopment@acf.hhs.gov

USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to safe, healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit www.usda.gov

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