2023 Status Report: Affordable Child Care in Arlington

Image 2023 Status Report: Affordable Child Care in Arlington

The Arlington Community Foundation (ACF) Shared Prosperity Initiative builds on years of prior County and community planning and civic engagement focused on preserving Arlington’s rich social and cultural fabric and eliminating existing disparities – particularly in the areas of affordable housing and affordable child care. We honor and carry this work forward as we seek to mitigate the displacement of our lowest income residents, especially those residents who make below 30% of our area median income (AMI), or $46,410 for a family of four (Read: Why Inclusion Matters).

More than ever, the lack of affordable child care in Arlington is putting our lowest income neighbors in an impossible bind. Without affordable child care, they cannot work, and without work, they cannot feed their children or qualify for housing subsidies in this increasingly expensive community.

Our goal with this status update is to re-energize the work and efforts toward affordability initially started with the 2018 Child Care Action Plan.

April 2023 Update: Community advocacy based on this report led the County Board in April 2023 to fund, beginning in FY 24, a new full-time senior level DHS position to support the implementation of the Child Care Action Plan, among other priorities.

In 2023, Arlington Community Foundation produced a status report on what actions had taken place toward more affordable child care in Arlington since the acceptance of the 2018 Child Care Action plan by the County Board. Community advocacy following the release of this report led the County Board to fund, beginning in FY 24, a new full-time senior level DHS position to support the implementation of the Child Care Action Plan.

This report contains a number of key recommendations applicable to both Commonwealth and Arlington policies, funding and programs. They all connect to 2+ years of extensive data analysis and recommendations from a 22-member CCI Leadership Roundtable as well as a 40-member working group of parents, providers, and other government and nonprofit stakeholders.

This update is organized around 5 action and policy areas that the Foundation, the County, State, and community organizations invested time in between 2019-2022:

  1. Rent reduction and other strategies to lower the cost of child care for families
  2. Privately funded child care scholarships
  3. State child care subsidy program changes and provider supports
  4. Local efforts to increase access to affordable child care
  5. School-aged child care during pandemic virtual learning

For each area, we share insights gained and recommendations for going forward. For questions or press inquiries, please contact our Director of Grants and Initiatives, Brian Marroquín.

Related Content

We are working with urgency to ensure that the plan guiding the Barcroft Apartments redevelopment results in 255 30% AMI committed affordable units, matching this spring’s count of current 30% AMI households. Read more
The Shared Prosperity Initiative engages the business, government, and nonprofit sectors to mitigate displacement of very low-income residents and allow these residents to continue to contribute to Arlington’s economic viability and diverse community fabric. Read more
Our multi-year economic mobility focus and our outreach to scale up business involvement can produce capital and other resources beyond our current local funding mix. Every dollar raised and invested in this work now will come back to this community’s most vulnerable many times over. Read more