Early Learning Must be Part of the 2016 Election Conversation

“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.


2 comments Early Learning Must be Part of the 2016 Election Conversation

May 20, 2016 at 5:14 pm, Erika L Bell said:

Im looking for a school to put my 4 year old in


May 26, 2016 at 6:55 pm, Molly O'Connor said:

Have you tried connecting with your local school district or Educational Service District? They likely have rules that make it difficult for them to recommend any particular preschools to you, but they might be able to connect you with local resources and determine if you qualify for state-funded preschool. I hope you’re able to find a high-quality program that works for your family.