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Our sector faced a spring of grief and uncertainty in 2020.

We feel it’s only right to start by acknowledging the significant grief, hardship, and uncertainty child cares faced this year. Yet through it all, the majority of the 11,000 child care organizations we work with continued to serve their young children. They "dug deep" to find new ways to support their communities and to survive. We’re deeply grateful to the educators who have worked so hard to continue serving their children, even through the darkest moments of the pandemic.

Sadly, 487 child care programs closed permanently, meaning a loss of thousands of spots for California children. Many of these programs were open for 30, 40, and even 50 years, but the pandemic and lack of financial relief forced them to shut their doors. Thank you for your many years of service and your immense impact on young children.

This year also brought a personal loss for CQEL. Sherri Springer, CQEL’s President and Co-Founder, and an early educator for 50 years, passed away suddenly in July. We are eternally grateful for Sherri’s service to CQEL, the early learning community, and the thousands of children and families she educated over a half-millenium.

The State of CQEL

CQEL was impacted by the pandemic, but we’ve made significant strides to expand our services and our support for the child care community. We continue to be 100% funded by our members and sponsors for support, which allows us to operate in the best interest of our members and the children and families they serve.

While we’ve had to say heartfelt goodbyes to many members that have closed their doors, we have seen the demand for CQEL’s community, resources, and trainings continue to grow. In 2020, CQEL’s membership continued to grow at 56% year-over-year. We were able to support our many hundreds of members and community of 11,000 providers because of your membership and support. Thank you.

CQEL Initiatives

New Member Benefits

🏠 New Resource Hub

We launched a ton of new member benefits in 2020. Early in the year we launched My CQEL, a hub for resources and news exclusively for California childcares. See some example articles such as funding opportunities for child care providers and county-by county Covid-19 resources.

☕️ State-wide Coffee Break

Another huge benefit that’s continuing to expand is Director’s Coffee Break, a bi-weekly state-wide group of directors discussing critical issues and sharing resources. We’ve had directors join for the full hour with very in-depth discussions every time.

🏥 Health Insurance Plans

We quietly launched new employee health insurance plans with Van Beurden Insurance, which at scale will allow us to negotiate significantly lower rates for all providers. Get information by contacting Brad Knerr here.

💰 New 401k Plans

We are now launching the CQEL Multi-Employer 401k Plan - a 401k plan which offers significant cost savings and reduced administrative overhead (for example, you don’t need to conduct your own audit) to child cares across California.

Explore new benefits

Key adovcacy

CQEL “went to bat” for California child care providers and the children and families they serve. Given the pandemic, we took on a whole array of issues, including the prioritization of the Covid-19 vaccine for child care workers, child care relief funding, PPE distribution, and key state legislation throughout the year. CQEL’s members and the greater child care community were instrumental in making our industry’s importance known to lawmakers and ensuring the child care workforce was prioritized for the Covid-19 vaccine.

Join the Public Policy Committee

New alliances

CQEL built new alliances with the Child Care Law Center, key state legislators focused on improving child care, and strengthened alliances with key industry partners. We also forged new partnerships with Mutual of America for CQEL’s Multi-Employer 401k Plan.

Become a partner

What’s to come in 2021?

We are incredibly excited to turn the page on 2020 and launch new initiatives this year. While many projects are still unannounced, we have some exciting new services on the horizon that we can share with you today.

We’re nearly ready to launch our Title 22 database. This is a highly organized, searchable database of the entire Title 22 code. It’s something that we started as a passion project and tested with a handful of CQEL members over the summer. Due to the generosity of a CQEL board member, we’re soon able to finish and launch the tool in the coming weeks.

We’ll be very focused on helping providers get back on their feet and get fully enrolled this year, so you’ll see us launching lots of trainings and content on cost-effective enrollment marketing and recruitment methods. We will go in depth on how to use new, easy-to-use technologies to expand your enrollment marketing reach and make your hiring and enrollment operations more time and cost efficient.

Lastly, we’ll be pushing for the needs of community-based child care providers and a mixed delivery system in our advocacy. We’ll be addressing the proposed Public School/Charter School Transitional Kindergarten that threatens the quality of California child care and well-being of working women, and fighting to ensure all California children have access to high quality child care.

Join us

We’ll close with this: if you’re not already a member, you’re missing out.

Join CQEL to get the community, resources, and trainings you need to build a better, stronger child care program in 2021.

Join us
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