A new state legislative session will begin soon, the Maryland Department of Education’s Office of Child Care continues its work to implement the federal child care law, and Prince George’s County officials are making safe child care a priority locally.
We have important opportunities to advocate for the direction of (and investment in!) child care and early learning! It is because of your work that early childhood education has risen to become a priority for candidates and elected officials from all parties, at all levels of government. We know that everyone can support child care and early learning – because they have.
At the same time, our families, our community and our country have big challenges to face. At the Resource Center, we are doing everything we can to stand up for vulnerable people. It gives me hope to see people coming together to do the right thing.
This is not the time to give up. This is the time to show up!
Earlier this year I was waiting for my turn to speak at a public hearing, and a local man was testifying in against an issue important to him (not related to child care or early learning). The elected official on the panel said to him, “I have a whole pile of written testimony submitted from people who support this.” The man replied, “Well ma’am, I’m the one who showed up.”
The power of just one voice really struck me in that moment. It was one voice there at the right time to give elected officials pause – to help them see there are lots of sides to a story, and maybe even lots of ways to create solutions to challenges.
The stakes are high now and we all need to be the one showing up in 2017. It will take all of us – and we’ll be creating lots of different ways to show up – whether you can come with us to Annapolis, or you want to take action right from your own home, or you can meet us right down the road at a Joining Voices network meeting. We’ll be taking action together. No one will be able to tell us we didn’t show up for vulnerable families.
Thank you for all that you do for children and families.