As the gubernatorial race kicks off in Virginia, voters have their eyes on candidates’ campaign events and platforms. As an advocate for Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) and the parent of both a preschool-aged child and another on the way, I’m looking for candidates who prioritize kids and their families. That’s why I was excited when Senator Jennifer McClellan released her plan for early childhood education and care in Virginia, aiming to achieve universal child care by 2025. 

Before the onset of COVID-19, Virginia ranked 40th in the country for affordable, accessible childcare. Now, in 2021, the situation is even worse. During this pandemic, 40% of childcare providers have closed their doors. This is devastating not only for parents forced out of their jobs because they cannot find adequate childcare but also for the economy as it loses valuable workers. 

Senator McClellan is the first candidate in Virginia to address this issue with a real plan to make childcare universally accessible, devoting $4 billion to early childhood education and care accessibility in Virginia. I have known Jennifer for more than 10 years, and I’m proud that she is tackling this incredibly important issue, one that impacts not only the future of our kids but the future of Virginia as a state. 

Please join me in thanking Senator McClellan – and in urging other candidates and public officials to follow her lead and prioritize children. When we invest in kids, we invest in a better and brighter future.

Traci Crockett

Falls Church, VA

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