There is a great amount of knowledge and research over the last several years that has given us a better understanding of how important the first years in children’s lives are and how to make the most of a child’s potential for the betterment of all society.
Neuroscientists, child development experts, economists and parents all know, thriving, productive, healthy adults contribute to strong communities, a vibrant economy and are more apt to be successful parents of future generations.
Putting the Pieces Together – Investing in our Children
Supporting Early Care and Education
There are more than 11 million children under the age of 5 in some type of child care arrangement every week while their parents work. On average, children of working parents spend 35 hours every week in child care. Leaders in the community are the key voice for the movement to strengthen the accessibility to quality child care. If this issue affects you as a parent, grandparent, early care and education provider, or just a concerned community member, consider advocating!
Advocacy means taking action by informing key policy makers on policy solutions and key information about a topic. To support early care and education, consider advocating about improving the quality, availability and affordability of childcare in New Jersey. Some of the current issues in New Jersey are, staff qualifications, low wages for all staff working in childcare, the cost of childcare for families, the accessibility of programs that are trained to include children with special needs and the lack of quality child care programs.
Build Awareness about Child Care
Meet with key people to discuss child care issues. This group may include local, state and federal legislators, government organizations, families and the business community. Utilize your knowledge and statistics to build your rationale for speaking about child care. Please visit our Cost of Care page to identify the cost of child care in Monmouth County and the impact on both families and child care providers.
There are many organizations who work to advocate for quality and accessible child care. Consider becoming familiar with these groups before beginning your advocacy efforts:
Child Care Aware of New Jersey (formerly the New Jersey Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies – NJACCRRA)
Advocates for Children of New Jersey (ACNJ)
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
Know Your Public Officials and Representatives
After each election, get an updated list of your local, state and federal legislators. Contact them on a regular basis, sharing your concerns about child care. You can write, call and visit.
How to Find Your Legislators