This past weekend, members of the Public Policy team at Child Care Aware® of America hopped in the car and drove to Newark, Delaware for a day-long training “Building a Framework for Early Learning.” Delaware was given this opportunity to spend a day learning about federal and state child care laws as well as different advocacy tools and ways to help strengthen child care in their state following an application for “Taking Advocacy to the Next Level.” They were selected, along with four other states, to receive training this past year.
Upon arrival, the members of the team were greeted by a group representing a wide variety of people in the early childhood field in the state. Members arrived from non-profit organizations, for-profit child care centers, family child care home providers, child care advocates, early childhood instructors and more. There was a voice from every sector in the room. The morning started off with a brief overview of early childhood in Delaware, what plans were in the works (including new recommendations by the state’s Early Childhood Advisory Council). Following the state background, there was an overview of federal funding and an update from the national level. There was a review of the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), the federal law that allocates funds to states and sets the parameters for state child care laws and discussion about what Congress is doing in terms of reauthorization (the process of reviewing and renewing the law).
After the federal update, participants divided into small breakout groups to discuss opportunities and barriers in the state with regard to ensuring the children in Delaware are in affordable, quality child care. There were many rich discussions, which would be used later in the day to help participants create a policy agenda and roadmap for quality child care that works best in the state of Delaware.
The afternoon was full of new ideas regarding parent engagement, advocacy tools including social media, online action centers and how to locate resources on the Child Care Aware® of America website. There was great discussion about how to implement these tools and how to determine what platforms are best for different organizations (and audiences).
The day wrapped up with more discussion groups and a basic outline of what the state would like to see in creating a roadmap for quality care for Delaware’s children. It was a great way for individuals from a diverse array of organizations and walks in life to come together and make their voices heard on behalf of young children.
If you would like your state to be a part of a two-day quality child care advocacy training, you can learn more here and apply today!