Quanzina Haynes has attended Start Early annual Early Childhood Advocacy Day for more than five years. Although her two sons are both now teenagers, she still sees in the value in supporting early childhood education – especially since both boys benefitted from early learning during their time at Educare Chicago.
We recently connected with Quanzina about her experiences as a mother and advocate. Check out her responses below!
- Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Quanzina Haynes. I’m a single parent of two teenage sons – ages 15 and 17. They both are alumni students of Educare Chicago, Start Early’s early birth-to-five school on Chicago’s South Side.
- What does “Quality Early Childhood Education” mean to you?
Early childhood education means that children are receiving the best care for their needs – socially, emotionally and physically. It means children are understanding how to adapt in a structured learning environment, so that they can thrive to reach their full potential in life.
- How many times have you participated in Start Early’s Early Childhood Advocacy Day?
I’ve been a part of the Early Childhood Advocacy Day for more than five years! [Through Advocacy Day] My son’s and l had the experience of sitting in the chambers listening to the legislators make decisions for changes throughout Illinois, for better family services within the community for students like my sons.
- Do you have any “advocacy” tips that you could share with new advocates thinking about attending Advocacy Day?
- Be prepared to stay the entire day, have your questions, suggestions and concerns ready.
- Get the legislators business card or leave them your business card if you can’t formally speak with them.
- Follow up with the legislators about your questions or concerns by calling their offices, or go by their local office and pay them a visit so they can know how persistent you are about the changes you want to see.