Why is it important?
Legislators make their voting decisions based on what they hear from their constituents. Others will speak for us if we do not use our voices in constructive ways. We can be change agents, or we can be the recipients of changes that we did not influence.
Public policies at the national, state and local levels have a tremendous impact on the financing, access, and quality of early care and education and out-of-school time; like reimbursement rates, like 21st Century grants, like compensation and professional development for professionals, like the quality rating and improvement system, and many others.
In order for programs and services for young children, youth, and their families to receive more funding, it is essential that parents, community leaders, youth, and early childhood and out-of-school time professionals contact their legislators regularly to communicate their thoughts, concerns, and needs. Legislators are very accessible - it is their job to listen to and vote based on their constituency.
Easy ways to be involved:
- Keep informed about the issues--Read the MnAEYC-MnSACA weekly policy updates and help out where you can.
- Be prepared to be able to discuss what the issues are, how they affect your program, your community or your family.
- Know who represents you. Have their contact information available so you are ready when you need it. Find out who represents you here.
- Join the MnAEYC-MnSACA Policy & Advocacy Committee.
- Attend Policy Hour, hosted by Minnesota's Future.
- Share the MnAEYC-MnSACA Public Policy Agenda with your families.
- Take time to develop a relationship with your elected official(s). Schedule a time for he/she to visit your program. See Site Visit Toolkit.
- Call or write your elected officials about the young children, youth, and families you serve and why it’s important they support investments in early care and education and out-of-school time.
- VOTE! The best way to move an agenda forward is to elect officials who view young children, youth, and families as a priority and, if running for re-election, have a voting record that demonstrates this.
Take a look at our different toolkits, which will provide you with more information about how to be involved.
Questions? Contact Sara Benzkofer at firstname.lastname@example.org.