What is an advocate? The Merriam Webster online dictionary offers a few definitions, but the simplest is this: an advocate is ‘one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group.’ It seems unfair or perhaps misleading that the definition should be so simple. Because advocacy is not simple. It is complicated and time-consuming. Advocacy is a lot of work.
Here’s the payoff. In our case, it is noble work. Supporting families with young children who are at risk is, I believe, at the heart of our national heritage. It is directly connected to the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence. Every family has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And that’s what we are really defending.
Advocacy work at the state and federal level is a complicated process, and the state associations across the country work in collaboration with the National Head Start Association to secure the funding increases and policy changes to strengthen Head Start. By now you’ve heard that the 2020 fiscal year budget was signed into law. It provides the following for Head Start:
- $250 million for Quality Improvement Funding
- $100 million increase ($905 million total) for the expansion of Early Head Start and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships,
- $4 million for re-establishing the Tribal Colleges and Universities Head Start Partnership Program
- $193 million for a cost-of-living adjustment
Advocacy requires resources. Can you invest in the ability of Head Start California and the National Head Start Association to sustain this work? Our Power of 2 campaign is intended to do just that, and it is simple. Just remember the power of two:
- Donate $2.
- Ask 2 friends to give $2.
- Take 2 minutes to post on social media. #powerof2 #headstartca
We can do more, two at a time! You can make your donation to the Power of 2 Campaign here.
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Op-Ed from Leading Child Childcare Expert
California Budget Update
Press Release: Head Start California Urges Legislature and Governor to Agree on Budget that Supports Head Start Programs
Press Release: California Lawmakers Urge Funding for Head Start, Serving Most Vulnerable Children
Press Release: Over 50 California Organizations Call for State Funding for Head Start