NOVA Professor and Student to Participate in U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly’s Roundtable on Affordable Childcare and Education

June 9, 2021

On Thursday, June 10th at 10 a.m., U.S. Representative Gerry Connolly will host a socially distanced conversation on how the COVID-19 crisis has affected childcare providers and educators, a workforce largely consisting of women of color. The event will be held at Main Street Child Development Center, 4401 Sideburn Road in Fairfax. The event will feature Dr. Christine Pegorraro Schull, professor of early childhood development at NOVA, and Nicole Lazarte, an early childhood development student at NOVA, who will be graduating this summer. Other roundtable members include; Liz Cassidy, preschool special education teacher at FCPS; Diane Colcansek, director of Christ Presbyterian Preschool; Carol Lieske, executive director at the Main Street Childhood Development Center; Tanya Miller who is a home day care provider; Michelle Davis, teacher at Country Day School; Clarissa Kolodzinski, childcare specialist at the Infant Toddler Family Day Care and David Meyer, mayor of the City of Fairfax. 

Signed into law in March, the American Rescue Plan provides nearly $800 million in critical funding to help Virginians afford quality early childhood care and education and to help ensure that childcare providers can continue operating safely. Specifically, the law includes nearly $306 million for Virginia Child Care and Development Block Grants (CCDBG), nearly $490 million for Virginia Child Care Stabilization Grants and more than $16 million for Virginia Head Start programs to help support operating costs, PPE and tuition assistance for struggling families.

Additionally, the American Rescue Plan includes a historic expansion of the child tax and dependent credit, which would make Virginia families eligible to receive up to $4,000 in tax credits for one child or $8,000 for two or more children. This expanded tax credit would significantly ease the burden of childcare costs for many Virginia families – many of whom pay, on average, more than $14,000 annually for infant care and nearly $11,000 for toddler care. 

This event is open to press, but all press must RSVP accordingly and will be asked to practice social distancing and wear a mask. For press inquiries, contact Jamie Smith, press secretary for U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly at For other NOVA media inquiries, please contact Hoang Nguyen, public information officer at

Topics: media alert