As part of a long-term initiative to support longstanding issues and more recent child care market failures, Child Care Associates (CCA) has launched The Institute to Advance Child Care at CCA. The Institute to Advance Child Care builds on the scale, experience, and the capacity of CCA to provide a ground-up authority for the design and implementation of transformative ideas in child care. Local nonprofit leader, Willie Rankin, has been named the organization’s director.
“The pandemic has pulled the curtain back on child care, forcing many communities to finally reckon with a system on the brink of collapse. We are at a unique moment with the opportunity to overhaul that long-broken system, “ commented CCA President and CEO Kara Waddell. “Additionally, and as importantly, we are thrilled to have Willie Rankin leading the Institute’s charge. He has strong collaborative experience across multiple community service sectors which will be critical in advancing the Institute’s goals.”
The Institute to Advance Child Care at CCA’s mission is to improve outcomes for young children 0-5, working parents and child care educators by identifying bold, innovative, cross-sector solutions that improve equitable access to, and the quality of, child care at scale in Tarrant County
“I am excited to join the CCA team as the first director of the Institute and look forward to advancing the Institute’s goals as we collectively work to support quality early childhood education for some of the most vulnerable children in Tarrant County,” said The Institute to Advance Child Care at CCA Director Willie Rankin. “Our vision includes creating an integrated, robust, and adequately funded system of quality early learning and care for young children 0-5 with a sustained, high-quality workforce. Every family, regardless of neighborhood, should be able to easily access quality early learning in its many forms.”
Child care programs are experiencing a market failure with a desperate need to increase compensation to a meaningful, livable level and to keep the workforce necessary to keep child care classrooms open. Then, to move these classrooms to the research-based levels of quality in early education—such as the use of a strong curriculum, supported educators, quality early learning environments – takes another hefty ongoing investment. Yet, parents cannot afford the cost of child care today, which currently does not include any of these investments. The Institute will begin collaborating with community leaders and interested groups to reimagine the child care ecosystem as a building block to energize economic development in North Texas.
Director Willie Rankin
Over the last ten years, Rankin has become known in North Texas for building strong collaborative partnerships throughout the community. A Marine Corps and Iraqi War veteran, Rankin learned early on the importance of leadership and negotiation skills to stand up operations and cultivate business opportunities. Most recently as the executive director of LVTRise, Rankin helped the organization raise more than $2 million to revitalize the Fort Worth Las Vegas Trail community while also bringing countless partners to serve alongside him in the community.
Rankin currently serves as chair of the city of Fort Worth Zoning Commission, board treasurer for BRIDGE Fort Worth and is on boards of Leadership Fort Worth, Board Build and the Fort Worth Chamber. He received his Executive MBA from the University of Texas in Arlington and in June 2022, Rankin will be presented with the Dr. Marion J. Brooks Legends in the Making Award.
About Child Care Associates
Child Care Associates (CCA) is one of the largest child development nonprofits in North Texas and has served more than half a million young children in the past 54 years. Through Head Start and Early Head Start and Child Care Management Services, CCA delivers quality early education programs to children and families of disadvantaged means, offsetting the high cost of child care for lower-income working families and increases the quality of child care delivered across Tarrant County. CCA offers an array of whole child, whole families services including services for pregnant moms, home visiting, Early Head Start and Head Start.
In partnership with the city of Fort Worth, Tarrant County and the city of Arlington, CCA is the convener and thought partner for the Blue Ribbon Action Committee on Child Care which was formed to boost outcomes for young children 0-5, working parents and child care educators by identifying bold, innovative, cross-sector solutions to improve access to, and the quality of, child care at scale. The Institute to Advance Child Care will work alongside the Blue Ribbon Action Committee, as well as CCA’s policy team, to ideate and implement promising solutions that inform meaningful policy for impact at scale.