On February 28, 2023, early childhood leaders from across the country collaborated to urge lawmakers to invest in substantial and sustainable federal child care funding. For two days leading up to the visit to the Hill, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) organized an informative and thought-provoking conference, which provided state teams with key tools and resources for effective meetings with their representatives.
Five of us from Shma Koleinu attended the NAEYC Public Policy Forum and gained tremendous knowledge and strategies for optimizing advocacy opportunities. Empowered by our congressional visits on the Hill, we continue to shout our collective call to action from the hilltops: Tell Congress that affordable, high-quality child care is essential and requires ongoing federal investments. "Enough chatter," Lisa Plotkin, active Shma Koleinu member keenly asserts, "we need action, for our educators, our families, and our children."
We hope these reflections and pictures from our meaningful experience on the Hill empower those reading to take action with us!
Our lived experience is expertise! We have to stop thinking that we need certain training or classes or degrees in order to speak to power. We have to lead with our lived experience, and there’s no one that can refute it. The people on the Hill need it, and we are doing a disservice when we don’t share. This is the Pirkei Avot text in action! We don’t need to complete the task but we must not withdraw from it (Kathy Pomer, Maryland).
Meeting with Representative Kean, Jr. was an especially meaningful experience because lives near our Temple (Jill Cimafonte, New Jersey).
Our Collective Call to Action
You may feel inspired to attend next years' NAEYC Public Policy Forum with us- and we look forward to advocating with you! BUT you do not have to wait a whole year to use your voice.
Contact your elected officials today:
Click here for contact information for your United States Representatives.
Click here for contact information for your United State Senators.