“Don’t let candidates stop at saying they support early learning. Ask them how they’re going to do it.” — Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network.
We all play an important role in making sure local, state and national policymakers are committed to supporting our youngest children and their families. And 2016 has the potential to be a big year for early learning, and we HAVE to make it so.
Last month, Thrive led a panel (watch now) on Preparing for the 2016 Elections at ZERO TO THREE’s National Training Institute. Joining me on the stage here in Seattle were Mark Shriver, president of Save the Children Action Network; Thrive board member and Washington state Sen. Steve Litzow; and Karen Howard, vice president of early education policy for First Focus in Washington DC.
Key takeaway: Every voice counts, and sometimes all it takes is a handful of contacts — calls, emails and conversations — to have a profound influence. Together we already have what it takes to make a big difference in 2016!
In many ways, we have been fortunate. As more local, state and federal policymakers understand the power of giving children the earliest and best start possible, they are joining together in strong bipartisan support around public policies and investments. During the 2016 election season, we must press on all candidates to have a plan for continuing the momentum. I hope we’ll all double our determination to make early childhood care and education a priority – and insist on increased funding and great policy every day after Nov. 8, 2016.
Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming elections and ways you can engage your local candidates.