Child care providers and supporters attended the California Democrats Convention on Saturday to remind state policy makers how important child care is to California’s future.
Child care and early learning has been in the spotlight since President Obama made universal preschool a priority, in his State of the Union address. In the wake of this, parents, CCPU-member providers and community leaders have come together under the banner of Raising California Together, a coalition dedicated to promoting local, state, and national solutions to increase access to quality child care and early learning choices.
On behalf of Raising California Together, providers educated delegates about the severe shortage of quality and affordable child care options in California, and how this ongoing crisis is detrimental to families and the state’s economy. They then asked attendees to “raise their hand” to support increased access to affordable child care and universal preschool, by participating in an familiar art project.
Providers slathered brightly-colored paint onto delegates’ hands and pressed their hand onto canvas to leave a handprint. Providers walked participants thought the learning moments in this activity (identifying colors, counting, size comparisons, etc.) showing them how an activity like this engages young minds and helps develop curiosity. They showed them the instrumental role providers have in preparing children to learn, all before their first day of school.
Delegates then signed the canvas, and included additional messages of support. Participating elected officials included members of the State Senate, State Assembly, and State Superintendant of Public Instruction, Tom Torlakson.
Recognizing the connection between early education and future success, State Senator Kevin de León said, “if we can invest in our children then we can reap the benefits later on and create a quality workforce in California.”
Assemblymember Mariko Yamada left this apt description of policymaking in her note of support: “If you’re not at the table, you’ll be on the menu.”
Supporters from local chapters of organizations like Planned Parenthood and Our Walmart, also stood up to show their support.
Providers talked in great depth about this issue, garnering support for the quality and consistent childcare and early learning options that parents, employers, and kids need to be successful.
For more information and a video from the event, check out this article:
- Democrats get hands dirty in support of child care – Capital Alert, Sacramento Bee
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