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Illinois Early Childhood Advocacy Day

Join advocates from across Illinois to champion early childhood issues on Wednesday, April 6!

April 6, 2022
  • Policy and Systems
  • Blog

Join us on April 6 for Early Childhood Advocacy Day! Although we couldn’t be together in Springfield this year, we hope you can still raise awareness in support of early childhood services and programs. Recently, Start Early has developed several resources to support your legislative advocacy with our Advocacy in Action Series. We hope you can take the additional step to join us in one final push to legislators to ensure they prioritize early childhood funding in the state budget proposal.

The legislative session was much shorter than usual so we need your voice, your story, and your advocacy to ensure our youngest learners and their families can continue to receive the services and supports they need in order to thrive. The pandemic has been particularly difficult period for so many that we need your stories to show our lawmakers why these investments are critical.

Why Advocate

Advocacy: building support for a topic or issue. Advocacy allows you to use your voice and share your story on how an issue, policy or decision has or may impact your life or the lives of those you love. Each year, legislators make important decisions at local, state and federal levels that have real impacts, and you should feel empowered to contact your legislators to help them understand what their decisions mean for communities. For example, crafting a state budget is one of the most important things legislators do. Your advocacy can ensure they consider and priorities early childhood priorities in their decision-making.

Regardless of the time of year, advocacy can drive pivotal change. It takes time to develop a relationship with legislators and their staff, so reaching out to them outside of the legislative session can amplify and drive recognition of the early childhood issues facing families and communities every day.

We understand that you are busy and often have competing priorities making it difficult to find the time to advocate. So, we developed several resources to help explain the legislative process and created videos to guide you through several easy-to-use opportunities for advocacy.

We also encourage you to educate and share resources with your personal and professional networks. By encouraging others to be advocates, we can amplify the diverse needs of children and families in communities and ensure other perspectives are shared with legislators. It’s also an opportunity for diverse stakeholders to offer solutions.

What to Expect

talk bubbles icon in redSocial Media
Join us on April 6 at 12 p.m. CT on social media to amplify the needed investments for early childhood. Help us amplify our message on Advocacy Day by sharing posts from our Advocacy Day social media toolkit! Follow and tag the Start Early Illinois Policy Team on Twitter @EarlyEdIL and share your own experiences by using the hashtags #EarlyEdisEssential and #AdvocateECE.

Take Action Icon in RedContact Your Lawmaker 
We offer a step-by-step video on how you can find your lawmaker to support your advocacy for early childhood services. We have also crafted a sample letter for you to easily send to your lawmaker outlining the importance of funding early childhood services and programs with specific details on how your legislators can accomplish the request. You can personalize the letter with your own stories and examples.

Take Action Now

Share Resources
Invite your friends, colleagues, and family members to participate in Early Childhood Advocacy Day! Raise awareness today on why supporting early childhood programs, providers, family health and well-being are critical to a child’s healthy development.

Questions? Reach out to us anytime at [email protected]