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The Right Note: Childcare Plan Still Needs More Detail

The Right Note is a weekly opinion column. The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

The County Board this week agreed to move forward with their Child Care Initiative action plan.

Of course, it did not take an action plan to tell any of us with kids that it is expensive to take care of them in Arlington. Whether it’s full-time child care, part-time, pre-school or even babysitting the costs add up on top of already expensive mortgages or rent payments. And anecdotally, you probably know parents who have still been scrambling to find care for an infant just days before going back to work.

But what does that mean the county government should do about it?

First, there is the question of accessibility. According to the county’s action plan, more than 13,000 kids are under the age of 5 in Arlington while just less than 7,000 slots are available in child care facilities. However, the county document did not answer all of the relevant statistical questions about these children.

How many families have a stay-at-home parent or a grandparent living with them? How many families use a nanny or au pair? How many families prefer to make use of a child care facility closer to their place of employment, like in D.C. or Fairfax County? In other words, are we really talking about 6,000 plus children who need a child care option, or 3,000 or 1,000 or 100?

Regardless of the number, the county is right to look at whether they can modify zoning and fees to make it easier for more facilities to open. For example, do we really need parking for all of the people who work there, or could the facility instead offer a Metro or rideshare benefit? Can we lower certain application fees? Lowering governmentally imposed barriers to entry, those that do not directly impact the well-being of the child, is a good thing. And the Board is considering making changes like these by the end of the year.

Another big question raised in the plan is whether or not county taxpayers should directly subsidize care to supplement any state programs and federal tax credits.

Before moving forward with a subsidy program, the Board must first provide in great detail: the income levels they propose to subsidize, a well-documented projection of the number of families who would take advantage of such a program, the total cost to fund the subsidies and administer the program and how they would propose paying for it.

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Submit your own Community Post here.

Lyon Park & Ashton Heights’ biennial home & garden biennial tour is back. The tour will include contemporary custom homes, older historic bungalows as well as renovated properties. One of the stunning homes on the tour is pictured above.  In addition to beautiful & unique homes, the Villa & Vistas ’22 event will conclude with a festive reception at the Lyon Park Community Center at 414 N Fillmore Street, Arlington VA 22201. What could be better right?

All proceeds from this event will go to the Lyon Park Citizens Association (LPCA) towards our neighborhood jewel & hub, the Lyon Park Community Center (LPCC).

When: Sunday, October 2nd, Noon – 4 PM. 

Where: Meet to get your tickets and the tour map at the Lyon Park Community Center (414 N Fillmore Street) We will have a table with information outside.

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Submit your own Community Post here.

Homebuying 101: Steps to Getting Pre-Approved

Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved. Join ACFCU for our Homebuying

Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show

The Pink Carpet Event Charity Fashion Show will feature our fabulous breast cancer survivors slaying the runway! Designers from Baltimore and the Washington, DC Metropolitan area will bring exquisite fashion and glamour to this event. Professional male and female designs

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