June 2, 2004

State of Alabama
Press Release: Human Resources, Department of

Child Care Advocates Celebrate Accomplishments, Highlight Challenges

Governor Bob Riley and Dr. Page Walley, DHR Commissioner, helped launch a statewide event at the Capitol in Montgomery addressing issues Related to childcare for working families. "We’re going to make (children) a priority, we’re going to continue to make sure that we have federal funding available at our maximum level." stated Riley.

The event, sponsored by the Alabama Partnership for Children and other child advocates across the state, was part of Stand for Children Day, an annual celebration held across the nation to highlight the need for children to have the opportunity to grow up healthy, educated, and safe. The theme of Alabama’s 2004 Stand for Children activities is "Changing the Future One Child at a Time."

During the event Dr. Walley commended the Governor and State Representatives for their leadership in securing necessary funding for childcare in Alabama. "We’re going to be able to provide these services for 31,000 children and draw the maximum amount from the federal government to match with our dollars to keep providing for these children" .Walley announced to the child advocates, media, and children gathered in the state capitol auditorium. "The opportunities that they are going to have is going to be directly proportionate to our ability to make sure that they have the basic foundation in which to grow."

Similar celebrations were held in Opelika, Mobile, and Birmingham. Child advocate groups participating in the events include: Alabama Association of Licensed Early Care and Education (AALECE), Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama (FOCAL), Voices of Alabama’s Children, Alabama Department of Human Resources, Alabama Child Care Network (child care management agencies), Alabama Arise, Children’s First Foundation, and the Alabama Partnership for Children.

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