Last month on September 13 and 14, our Family Leadership Circle and Provider Leader Fellows met in Jefferson City to network, learn, and meet with their legislators.
The Family Leadership Circle convenes 19 parents and caregivers, including foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers. Our 20 provider leaders are owners, directors and educators in child care and pre-K facilities ranging from in-home care to large child care centers. These leaders committed to a year-long program aimed at developing their leadership, policy, and advocacy skills to educate and engage policymakers on early care and education issues.
During the two-day event, we watched parents and providers transform from nervous and a bit uncertain to proud and confident advocates! By Day Two, our parents and providers left with a better sense of what it takes to advocate and how accessible it can be.
Here are some of their post event reflections (and photos below)!
“Legislators are just people. The conversations we had were just that, conversations. But the message was there. Advocating isn’t as big and scary. It’s conversations and building connections.”
“Legislators really need to be informed about the true intricacies of early childhood.”
“The group felt invigorated and pleasantly surprised at how nice and open the legislators are. Knowing they actually care.”
“I can do it. I like our stories being heard.”