2016 Early Learning Legislative Day
Our 2016 Early Learning Legislative Day was a big hit at our State Capitol. Activities were geared towards advocating for state investments in high-quality early childhood education for ALL children.
As many of you know, Idaho is just one of five states that does not invest in public preschool, leaving thousands of children without the opportunity to participate in affordable, high-quality programs. The majority of families throughout Idaho simply cannot afford, and do not have access to, programs that offer developmentally appropriate early learning opportunities for their children. What these families are left with are often times programs or environments that are not best for children’s healthy growth and development.
Our activities included a screening of the documentary The Raising of America. A facilitated discussion was held directly after the film which offered community members an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas around supporting families and their children. Idaho AEYC is currently planning to host a screening of this documentary across the state over the next several months. If you are interested in hosting a screening in your area, please contact us!
We also hosted BLOCK Fest® on the first floor of the Capitol. This activity was a huge success and we had many parents, children, volunteers and community members participate. Several legislators came by to learn more about play-based learning and some legislators even sat down to participate!
Dr. Noreen Womack, a pediatrician here in Boise and Priscilla Salant with the University of Idaho, McClure Center, gave presentations to the House and Senate Education Committees. Their presentations focused on brain development and also presented the “Idaho at a Glance – Early Childhood Learning” report. The information was well received by our committee members and they asked several questions.
The highlight of the day was a rally on the Capitol steps! We had many, many folks come out and show their support for investments in high-quality early learning. Our Lt. Governor Brad Little kicked off the rally and was followed by a business leader, legislators and parents. We were able to give our red scarves to participants that said “Support Early Learning” and they were a big hit!
Our work is not done and we have a long way to go, but it’s going to take ALL of US to make it happen. Next year, we hope to see even more members and folks that support investments in high-quality early learning at this event!