All children have the right to equitable learning opportunities. that enable them to achieve their full potential as engaged learners and valued members of society.
As educators and advocates, you play a critical role in bringing this statement to life, working with policymakers and holding them accountable for creating, funding, and implementing policies that help each and every child thrive. To learn more, we encourage you to:
Bonus: Because increasing equity is directly tied to decreasing poverty, the final recommendation in the Advancing Equity position statement is a recommendation to set a goal of reducing the U.S. child poverty rate by half within a decade. Join the Child Poverty Action Group for an #EndChildPoverty Twitterstorm on Tuesday, September 24 at 2:00 pm to amplify your commitment to addressing the crisis of child poverty.
Increasing Equitable Access to High-Quality Child Care
One of the reasons we fight for increased funding for CCDBG is so that we can increase equitable access to high-quality child care. After a challenging week in the Senate appropriations process, Republicans are proposing to increase CCDBG by $25 million and Head Start by $50 million. This is a far cry from the $2.4 billion increase passed by the House, which is the kind of investment that is needed to build on states’ recent progress in expanding access and raising quality.
We encourage you to continue to reach out to your Senators; this is the time for them to see that people are paying attention. You can:
- Thank your Senators for recognizing that child care needs increased investments.
- Tell them a $25 million increase falls far short of what is needed to meet the needs of children, families, educators, and businesses in their states and districts.
- Ask them to meet or exceed the House bill level for CCDBG, at $2.4 billion, which would benefit as many as 301,000 additional children (with state-by-state estimates here).
Remember, we have your advocacy to thank for getting the conversation to the point where we are, at least for today, talking not about whether to increase funding for child care but by how much. Your advocacy works – so keep it up!
And on that point, please note that there is another recess opportunity coming up during the first two weeks of October. With an incredible summer recess behind you (check out this op-ed thread), we encourage you to once again take advantage of the opportunity to connect with your elected officials in your shared communities. Don’t hesitate to use the videos, adapt the letters, and access these resources and reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more support and information!
Voting Our Way to an Equitable Society
There’s no question that the right to vote – and the removal of barriers so that people can actually do so – is critical in advancing an equitable society. Every vote counts, especially because we know that one vote can decide an election!
With National Voter Registration Day happening Tuesday, September 24, it’s time for early childhood educators to play our roles in ensuring our colleagues and the families we work with are registered to vote and #VoteReady.
Join us next week and share the ways in which you will join this annual celebration by tagging @SupportEarlyEd and using the #NationalVoterRegistrationDay and #ECEWins hashtags on social media.
Working Towards A Diverse, Equitable, Effective and Compensated Profession
It will take everyone working together to support the profession that supports our children and families. The latest draft recommendations from the Power to the Profession Task Force, Decision Cycles 7+8, which address needed supports and resources, are open for comment and your expertise is needed. The deadline for feedback (originally September 13) has been extended to this Wednesday, September 25.
Protecting and Supporting Immigrant Families
The very first policy recommendation in the Advancing Equity position statement is a recommendation to “work to change any policy that either directly or through unintended negative consequences undermines children’s physical and emotional well-being or weakens the bonds between children and their families.”
Right now, there are several policies threatening the well-being of our immigrant families with young children, and we hope you will join us and many partners both in supporting those families in our communities and in speaking out against those harmful policy choices.
Here are some ways to stay informed and get involved:
- Review this Q&A from CLASP on the final public charge rule, which focuses on how the rule impacts young children in immigrant families and discusses how to answer commonly asked questions from families about participating in publicly funded programs and services.
- Watch CLASP’s webinar, Public Charge and Young Children: What Early Childhood Stakeholders Need to Know
- Follow up on the #HarmInCBPCustody Twitterstorm and join partners at Save the Children Action Network to stop the indefinite detention of children at the border
- Check in for additional updates on NAEYC’s #FamiliesBelongTogether page, where we share information on our actions and advocacy opportunities to support immigrant families with young children.
Thank you for the work you do every day to advance equity in your own communities. We are grateful to be a part of this extraordinary community of early childhood educators and advocates.