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Parents, providers invited to help plan how Anchorage will spend millions to boost child care access

Anchorage Daily News - 10/29/2023

Oct. 28—The city is inviting parents and child care providers to participate in a newly stood up "implementation team" that will decide how to spend Anchorage's marijuana tax revenue in support of efforts to improve access to child care and early childhood education in the municipality.

The use of that revenue to fund child care efforts is the result of a ballot proposition that passed in April. Proposition 14, which emerged as a response to the child care crisis facing Alaska and the rest of the country, dedicated marijuana tax revenue to funding reading programs and providing resources to increase funding, wages and staffing at child care and early education programs.

The new team, which will meet at least once a month beginning in November through July, will include Anchorage Assembly members Anna Brawley, Kameron Perez-Verdia and Kevin Cross; Anchorage Health Department and Anchorage School District representatives; and nonprofits, including the Alaska Children's Trust and thread Alaska, among others.

The team will help analyze best practices and trends, communicate with the public, participate in listening sessions, and develop a three-year plan for how to use the approximately $5 million in annual funds, which will begin accumulating in January, according to a statement Friday from the Anchorage Health Department and Assembly members Cross, Perez-Verdia and Brawley. The funds will be disbursed starting in 2025, according to their statement.

Interested parents and child care providers are encouraged to apply to be part of the implementation team by Nov. 6 at careforkidsanchorage.com/get-involved.

The city is offering a monthly $150 stipend for participants who do not have a salary covering their time, or would lose income by participating. The time commitment is expect to be two to five hours each month.

The team's next meeting, which is open to public, will be held at Anchorage City Hall, Room 155, on Nov. 28 from 2-4 p.m.

[Alaska child care providers struggle to stay open as pandemic-era relief funds dry up]

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