Greetings from Washington DC!
This month NHAEYC visits our nation's capital with our very own public policy team! Myself, Gina Apgar and MaryLou Beaver are attending t
2016 Public Policy Forum in Washington DC
The agenda began Sunday, February 28, with an exciting half-day session on electoral advocacy. On Monday, February 29, we attended expert policy briefings with guest speakers, and interactive breakout sessions for all state team members, providing many opportunities for networking and learning. Today, Tuesday, March 1, we will experience Hill Day, building relationships with our Representatives, Senators and/or their staff.
NHAEYC will join our national organization, NAEYC, over the next year to focus strategic efforts on public policy and advocacy efforts. So, whether you are a current member or future member, this in an opportunity for you to join us in our pledge to highlight the value of the work we do, the importance of quality early care and education, and advocate for our continued professional growth and development!
There are many benefits to becoming a member, and
membership is power
I've been passionate about public policy and advocating for our profession, since a training I attended with MaryLou last year. Feeling empowered and yearning to know more, I've devoted time to learning about our nation's view point on education and understanding where dollars are allocated.
I asked myself one question, "
What will I do?" I recognized that we all are advocates every single day. We work hard to teach, inspire, and support our field. We support children, families and our allied professionals. As educators we make a difference every single day! I believe the world should be as fired up as we (early childhood professionals) are about the importance of early childhood education and the early years being the learning years.
NAEYC knows and understands this, but do our representatives? My pledge is to make sure our voices are heard while here, in Washington DC, and I am excited for this opportunity. I have such a sense of awe for our nation's capital, and the history of this land; the ground I am standing on today. My feeling of patriotism is profound, with a loyalty not only to our country, but also to our field! I am honored to be here on your behalf.
I look forward to bringing back knowledge, momentum, and our results from our advocacy efforts. Stay tuned for exciting developments from our grassroots campaigns, as we continue to let our voices be heard!
Jessica Rice, Vice President
5 Ways to Educate, Advocate and Support in 2016
5. Register for NAEYC's 2016 Public Policy Forum
Join fellow NAEYC members in Washington, DC from February 28 - March 1, 2016! Your presence and perspective are critical, as we explore everything from electoral advocacy to policy that advances the profession. To learn more, please visit our Public Policy Forum webpage and to register, please contact your State Affiliate, who will provide you with an online registration link (note that the registration deadline is January 29). See you in February in Washington, DC!
The deadline has passed, but luckily there are a number of other ways to be involved. Ask us how to get involved! Let your voice be heard.
4. Join Early Ed for President
Our nation is coming ever closer to electing a new leader - and it's our collective responsibility to make sure that all the presidential candidates promote the power of early learning on the road to the White House. Support the effort by donating $16 for 2016 - or, if you can't donate at this time, simply join our e-mail list and make sure you "support $16 for 2016 and Early Ed for President" to receive email newsletters and updates throughout the campaign.
3. Go to a Public Meeting for Your State's CCDF Plan
The implementation of the Child Care and Development Block Grant is one of the most important opportunities we currently have to impact child care and early learning across the country. Children, families and educators need you to show up for them - and that means literally showing up for the public meetings being held in all states as they prepare to submit their FY 2016-2018 CCDF Plans to the Administration for Children and Families. Thanks to the Early Care and Education Consortium for collecting the dates of those meetings (some of which have happened already) and making them public here. Send an email to
to get on their list and stay up-to-date as new meetings are added.
2. Read the Proposed CCDBG Regulations - and Share Your Thoughts
Didn't get to it over the holidays? We understand. They're long. They're also very important - and luckily for you, there's still time to read them (although not much)! In case you missed it, the Administration for Children and Families released the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) for CCDF regulations, with changes that are designed to protect the health and safety of children in child care; help parents make informed consumer choices; and access information to support child development; provide equal access to stable, high quality child care for low-income children; and enhance the overall quality of child care and the early childhood workforce. We will be working, along with other organizations, to offer our members and Affiliates structured opportunities to learn more and share their thoughts on the proposed regulations over the next several weeks (so keep your eyes open), but if you've got burning comments or questions before then, please feel free to send an email to
1. Try One New Thing to Advance The Profession
Maybe you feel comfortable sending emails, but you don't like calling your representatives. Maybe you like calling, but you've never joined Twitter. Maybe you're great on social media, but you've never attended a public meeting. Maybe you always attend public meetings, but you've never brought anyone new to the table. So let's all make one final shared resolution: regardless of where we live and work, regardless of what our roles are, or how long we've been in the field, we commit, as advocates and champions, to try one new thing this month (i.e., make a phone call, join Twitter, attend a meeting, reach out to someone new) that
advances our profession
and moves us forward together.