High quality child care is an essential resource for working families. It allows parents to go to work or school and provides children with a safe place to spend the day while contributing to their healthy development. But with the price of center-based child care outpacing the price of in-state tuition in many states and rising poverty levels for children and families, fewer and fewer working families can afford adequate child care. To make matters worse, without an adequate funding increase for 2013 the largest federal resource for working families who need help paying for child care, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), will serve the smallest number of children since 1998. This threatens to leave even more families without adequate child care, making it harder for parents to work and taking away an invaluable resource for young children. Luckily, children have organizations like RESULTSand the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) fighting to ensure that all families can pay for child care.

RESULTS and NWLC have developed a plan to put child care on the map – literally. With a map to track progress and a toolkit of resources, these organizations are calling on advocates, child care providers and anyone else who cares about access to child care across the country to visit their members of Congress in their home offices and talk to them about the importance of child care. Personal visits from constituents show elected officials what issues are most important for constituents, while Congressional recesses throughout summer and fall make now the perfect time to put child care on the map.

First Focus fully supports this effort. As an organization that advocates for issues concerning the entire child, we understand that children’s experiences in their early years have a profound effect on the rest of their childhood and the rest of their life. We want all members of Congress to know how important this resource is for working families and their children.

Read more about these important efforts on poverty policy expert Kathryn Baer’s blog here.