I hadn’t spoken in a public forum directly to elected officials since the second grade. I spoke to the mayor of Antioch, Calif., (my hometown) to be acknowledged for an award for my essay on the U.S. Constitution. With that breadth of experience in my back pocket, I took the task of describing why Thrive Washington supports the Early Start Act — in two minutes or less — as a new and interesting challenge.
Watch my testimony from Wednesday’s House Early Learning and Human Services Committee here:
Watch the whole hearing
The Early Start Act is still early in the legislative process and likely to change as things progress, but it will be important that, in the end, the main points I tried to describe still shine through in the final bill:
- Valuing the equity, access and high quality that are at the heart of our state’s early learning system
- Collecting data to track our success in closing the opportunity gap, which we know is the root cause of achievement and income gaps later in life
- Supporting cultural competency so that diverse providers can build high-quality programs that best serve all of our state’s children
- Offering more licensed child care providers the supports and resources they need to offer high-quality care AND increasing overall access to high-quality child care
I would hope that our partners across the state continue to engage in this conversation so that we end up with the best possible bill to meet the diverse needs of all children in our state.