Parent Spotlight – Jessica Baker is an ECE mental health advocate!

Jessica Baker is a mom of 2, mental health therapist and ECE advocate from Palmyra. She came to her journey of ECE advocacy as a participant in the Missouri Parents as Teachers program with her two children. Read Jessica’s story below!

How did you become an advocate for early childhood education? 

I became an advocate for ECE through participating in the Parents as Teachers program.

Why do you think it’s important to be advocate as a parent?

We are the voice of our children and the children of the future. Parents know and understand best the struggles that kids, providers, and educators are facing and it’s crucial that we share our voices to help improve for our generation and the future generations.

Why should Missouri invest more in child care and early education?

It’s so important for kids to have a solid start in life. Child care is necessary for parents to work and contribute to society. In addition, there has to be more of a focus on mental and behavioral health in early childhood. We know most development happens from age 0-5 and if we don’t invest in teaching our kids the appropriate way to manage their mental health needs, they grow up to be adults that don’t know how to manage their mental health.

In one sentence, what does the ideal child care and early education system look like for Missouri families?

Child care and early education is affordable, accessible, and inclusive of all needs a child has.

What is one thing you’ve learned about advocacy that you’d like to share with others?

It’s not as scary as you might think! It feels empowering to learn about yourself and learn how to stand up the needs of kids in Missouri

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