The Right Next Steps, Reflections and Insights
At the end of June, over 100 attendees gathered in Chicago for Start Early’s (formerly known as the Ounce) Policy Exchange, a convening that allows for in-depth policy discussions and collaborative learning on a range of topics. Consisting of plenaries and breakout sessions, this year’s Exchange participants explored equity through the theme of “Uniting for Families: Building a Longer Table.”
In addition to plenaries and breakout sessions, participants had the pleasure of listening to Helen Blank, former Director of Child Care and Early Learning at the National Women’s Law Center. She also led the federal Child Care and Early Learning Coalition and authored numerous reports during her tenure, including an annual report on state childcare policies.
As a life-long child and family advocate, Ms. Blank shared lessons and wisdom gleaned from almost half a century of advocacy work at this year’s Policy Exchange. Reminding those in the audience to start with a “bold vision and a big ask,” she stressed the value of maintaining perspective when working on this issue. Helen also reminded the audience of the importance of not letting our fears define our paths and to stay focused on your goals.