Parent advocates from WA travel to D.C. to advocate for Head Start
12 Washington State Parents Join Over 100 Parent Leaders and Early Childhood Professionals at the U.S. Capitol to Seek Funding for Head Start and Child Care, Strengthen Family Advocacy
[Seattle, WA] – Over 100 parents from across the country (including 12 from Washington State) are traveling to the Parent Ambassador Institute in Washington, D.C. from Wednesday, March 22 through Saturday, March 25 to demand that Congress boost funding for early education and prioritize the needs of young children, families and the early childhood workforce. Early care and education is not only important for stronger early development but is also essential to family wellbeing and supporting parents’ ability to work. However, the sector has suffered historic disinvestment and low pay, and steadily rising operating costs are burdening early learning providers and making affordable child care challenging for families to access.
“This Trip is so important to me and our Tribal community on the Port Gamble S’Klallam Reservation. It is an opportunity to use my voice and experiences so people can understand why it is crucial to provide more funding in early childhood programs. More funding is critical to bring back land-based learning for our youngest indigenous children. The outdoors reconnects our children with our Ancestors Teachings, Language, songs, dances and more. We need more funding for Head Start to make that happen and to keep our programs open.” Rayna Espinosa Ives, Parent Traveling to DC
At this national advocacy gathering, parents and staff from the Educare Network – a national network of early childhood champions – and partners nationwide will discuss the intersections of policy and early childhood education, deepen engagement with the Educare Five public policy agenda, partake in specialized training, share best practices, meet with federal legislators and further grow in their roles as change makers for young children, families and communities nationwide.
Parents will also head to the U.S. Capitol to tell lawmakers that now is the time to fund programs like Head Start and affordable child care, as without new funding, families will face a continued struggle to find affordable child care options that meet their needs.
Parent Ambassador Programs are leadership and advocacy programs designed to create transformation in parenting, policy and community. Each parent ambassador plays an instrumental role in expanding the reach of their Educare school or partner organization, increasing families’ engagement in advocating for policies that support early childhood education and generating community-wide awareness about the importance of strong early childhood systems.
Partners co-hosting this event include the Washington State Association of Head Start and ECEAP, Washington State Parent Ambassadors Program, Educare Central Maine, the Educare Network, Maine State Parent Ambassadors.
To learn more and view additional resources, please visit https://bit.ly/waparentambassadors