Hard to Contain the Excitement
In California we have an amazing opportunity to capitalize on resources and support for all who are a part of the lives of young children. Newly elected Governor Gavin Newsom has set the stage for a greater focus on the needs of young children, their families and the many professionals who support their care and education. We are quick to look at his more than $2 billion budget proposals investing in high quality early care and learning opportunities for young children and investments in early screening and development and paid family leave. However, his commitment is evident in many ways.
The most notable comment might be the presence and developmentally appropriate inclusion of his two-year old toddler at his inauguration. How delightful to see him walk onto the stage to connect with his dad and his dad naturally scoop him up and meet his needs. Governor Newsom has also followed up on his campaign goals of focus on early care and learning by appointing national leaders in meeting the needs of young children and families. He has appointed Dr. Nadine Harris Burke as California’s Surgeon General, bringing the influence of children’s early social experiences into discussions with California policymakers and statewide leaders. He has also appointed Kris Perry as California Health and Human Services Deputy Secretary for Early Childhood Development and Senior Advisor on Early Childhood Development initiatives.
What does this mean for early care and education professionals? No matter the role we have working with young children and families, whatever sector we work in, if we are wearing our parent hat or advocacy hat, our voice is at the table. Opportunities for career growth, professional learning and advocacy are there for the taking. This is the time for all of us to reach out to these leaders and make support and interests known; for our leaders to be successful in their great undertakings, we will need to stand with them and be ready for any opportunity to be involved, as individuals, professionals and organizations.
CAAEYC is ready and has started by sending congratulations and messages of support and appreciation for his agenda. Are you ready? How are you engaging?