Why the Children's Scholarship Fund is So Important

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By: J. Glenn Hopkins, President/CEO

 No doubt about it, child care is expensive. According to a 2013 report by Child Care Aware, "Parents and the High Cost of Child Care", full-time, center-based care for two children is the highest single household expense in the region, exceeding the cost of housing, college tuition, transportation, food, utilities, and health care: 


For a couple with two children living in Northern Virginia, with an income equal to the region’s median income of $62,000, the cost of full-time care for an infant can devour upwards of 19% of a family’s household income – or well over $10,000.  In more than half the nation, married couples spend over 10% of their state’s median income on child care.  For families in poverty, earning less than $23,283 for a family of four, child care takes an even bigger bite out of the family budget.

Researchers at the University of Virginia found that while the median income in this region is among the nation’s highest, and the poverty rate is among the lowest, there are far more families living in economic distress today than is usually reported. 

Due to declining federal spending in the region, the number of higher paying jobs is falling as the number of lower paying jobs is rising.  The number of single parents in the region is growing, as is the percentage of children below the age of five living in poverty. 

Ample research has shown that the early years of a child’s life are critical to his or her future success, these same years are critical as well to the economic wellbeing of the family.  Parents without the means to afford child care lack economic opportunity, and often have little choice than to depend on government assistance. 

The cost to tax-payers for remedial classes in public school and social net programs, coupled with the cost to industry of unfilled jobs and diminished consumer spending, creates a powerful drag on the nation’s economy and a heavy social burden on all of us.

High quality child care enables parents to go to work, confident that their children are in safe, nurturing learning environments, receiving nutritional meals and life-affirming experiences.  If parents cannot afford child care - because they earn too little, have lost their jobs or had their working hours reduced – their children and all of society suffers.

During a child’s earliest years when the human brain is forming at a very fast pace, is when we have the best chance of shaping those key social, cognitive, and academic skills that may determine a child’s future success in school and in life.  This is true for all children, and especially true for children of low-resourced parents.  It is this short-lived window of opportunity that makes quality child care so important.

Through the help of our donors, we are doing what we can at Hopkins House to ensure that all children, especially those of low-resourced working and military families, have access to high quality child care.

Through the generosity of our donors, Hopkins House is able to provide over $200,000 yearly in tuition assistance to families with children enrolled in our preschool academy.  This help enables these parents to go to work every day, reduce and ultimately eliminate their dependence on government assistance, and support the development of their children into successful adults.

Numerous economic studies document that the rate of return on investment in high quality childcare programs is $7 or more.  Therefore, a gift of $25 returns $175 in dividends to society, including reduced spending on remedial education, grade repetition in school, special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings by the children when they become adults.

This is why the Hopkins House Children’s Scholarship Fund is so special.  It’s a terrific investment; it helps children; it helps their families; and, it helps all of us.  It helps families break the cycle of poverty; it produces productive workers for the nation’s economy; it supports a strong and smart military; and, it saves taxpayers money.  The Hopkins House Children’s Scholarship Fund offers hope; hope for all of us.

To the hundreds of individuals who donate to the Hopkins House Children’s Scholarship Fund, thank you for making an important and lasting investment in the life of a child and his/her family.  

For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to the Hopkins House Children's Scholarship Fund, click to view video or to donate


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