August 2022 Update

Working for a just,
equitable, and quality
early childhood education 
for every young child.
A Special Thank you to Blakely Bundy
Blakely Bundy has been the co-director of Defending the Early Years since 2016.
In that role, she has been a mighty force of skill and leadership. On July 1, Blakely stepped down from her co-director role and welcomed Denisha Jones as our full-time Executive Director.
Blakely has been an extraordinary leader in the field of early childhood education for decades. For 25 years, she was the Executive Director of the Alliance for Early Childhood on the North Shore of Chicago. She's been a kindergarten and preschool teacher, and an active member with Chicago Metro AEYC for over 20 years.
We were so lucky to get Blakely to join our DEY leadership team in 2016. Blakely's resilience, calm presence, and fierce dedication to meeting the needs of young children have helped DEY to become the strong, visionary advocacy organization it is today. She has been called upon to do many tasks that some might find tedious or unglamorous, but Blakely has always done them with a spirit of generosity and equilibrium that we all admire. Her contributions to DEY are abundant, and taken together they've helped to build the solid foundation that holds us up today.
Luckily, Blakely will continue on as a member of our leadership team, and as a DEY Board member, so we will have the benefit of her talents hopefully for a long time to come.
Thank you, Blakely, for all you have given to Defending the Early Years--for your day-to-day hard work over these many years, and for your abiding kindness, wisdom, and dedication to the needs and rights of young children.
With Appreciation,
August Guest Blog
Care and the Myth of Independence by Carol Garboden Murray
Care and the Myth of Independence

On the pathway towards independence, children fluctuate between feeling big and feeling little. One day they pretend to be powerful superheroes saving the world, and the next day they become helpless kittens curled up on their teacher's lap. It...

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Susan Linn:
Who's Raising the Kids?
Join A Species Between Worlds as they host Susan Linn.
Susan will discuss her new book: WHO’S RAISING THE KIDS i
Keynote talk followed by a reception

Susan Linn is an author, psychologist, and ventriloquist. She is the founder of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and author of the book Consuming Kids. She is a research associate at Boston Children's Hospital and a lecturer at Harvard Medical School.

Join Linn on Wednesday, September 28th, 6:00-8:00 pm
at 537 W 27th St, New York City

The DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid

"The DEY Podcast with Kisha Reid" is available monthly with fresh interviews!

This month, Kisha Reid interviews Deb Curtis, the co-author of many resourceful early childhood books including "The Visionary Director", "Art of Awareness", and "Children's Lively Minds". Her forty years of experience working with young children informs her work with adult early educators and directors. Together we discuss The Art of really seeing children and the practice of helping them see each other.

Find the podcast here.
Our Executive Director Denisha Jones is Quoted in the article: "Unstructured, longer play time called key to early learning"
Unstructured, longer play time called key to early learning

Children learn valuable skills through play that contribute to pre-reading and math development, play advocates said.

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DEY Advocacy Map
Did you know that ...
  • New Mexico will provide free child care for the majority of its families, starting in fall 2023?

  • A recent survey by the Buffett Institute found that COVID-19 continues to compound Nebraska's child care crisis, including high staff turnover and staff burnout.

  • Illinois passed the "Too Young to Test" bill which prohibits testing of children in pre-kindergarten through second grade?

Find out about these and other early childhood news on the Defending the Early Years Advocacy Map.
Our Leadership
Board of Directors
Nancy Carlsson-Paige
Founder and Senior Advisor

Blakely Bundy
Leadership Board Member

Diane Levin
Founder and Senior Advisor

Geralyn Bywater
Kisha Reid
Director of Communication & Outreach

Executive Director
Denisha Jones

National Advisory Board
Erika Christakis
Sherry Cleary
Bill Crain
Stephanie Feeney
Doris Pronin Fromberg 
Ayla Gavins
Michelle Gunderson
Ed Klugman 
Susan Linn
Deborah Meier
Ruth Rodriguez-Fay
James St. Clair
Judith Van Hoorn

Founding National Advisory Board 
Constance Kamii
Lilian Katz
Maurice Sykes
Defending the Early Years, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.
Donations are tax deductible. Our Tax ID: 82-4308558

Defending the Early Years