With most Americans still under shelter-in-place orders, it makes sense that parents everywhere are worried about the impact these orders will have on child care. However, while the experience of parenting during the pandemic can be challenging, in states where economies are reopening, we have to wonder about the safety and health of the children. How will this be ensured?
Congress has extended its recess for the safety of congressional representatives, but the urgency for finding a solution for dedicated child care funding has never been greater. We need as many people as possible to reach out and make phone calls and send messages to their members of Congress. Congressional staffers are still keeping track of outreach, so if you sent a message earlier this month, thank you. But your representatives need to hear from you in multiple ways this week to have the most impact as the next round of coronavirus relief starts to come together. First, place your phone call. Call your member of Congress now and let them know: We need $50B in dedicated Child Care funding.
So after you place your call, take the next step! Childcareaware.org has compiled a tool kit for helping you to advocate for child care right from home! (Click here: https://www.childcareaware.org/our-issues/advocacy/day-on-the-hill-advocacy-toolkit/)
Schedule a Meeting or Call with your Legislator in Five Easy Steps
1. Do you already have a contact in the offices of your Members of Congress? If so, skip to step 3.
2. If not, identify your legislators and find contact information.
3. Connect with the district office through a brief email or phone call—it is best to make your request in writing and follow up with a call within a few days. Ask to speak with the district’s scheduler or another staff lead on child care to set up the meeting. You can also visit your legislator’s website and use the “Request a Meeting” form available from most members.
4. Use the email starter language and phone script below to connect with staff in your congressional offices. If you can, try to tailor it to your community and communication style.
5. Do not be discouraged if you do not hear back right away. You may have to contact the congressional office a few times to get a response. Allow at least one business day in-between follow-up.
If you are sending an email, it should contain the following:
1. Your name and address to show that you are a constituent, as well as your organization (if applicable).
2. The issues you wish to discuss – keep it brief.
3. The local office you wish to visit (if requesting a meeting).
4. The dates that you can meet. Include several dates or a wide time frame so that there is flexibility in scheduling the meeting.
NCCA has an example email layout on the homepage of our website (nccanet.org).
Now more than ever providers, early childhood educators, parents, businesses, etc. MUST be vocal about the situation that licensed child care is facing. Without your participation, there are not enough voices to change where we are headed. Thank you for helping “America Go Back To Work” and to fund child care! (Thank you to childcareaware.org and vox.com for info!)