Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) staff recently went to California to train members on advocacy and policy updates. CCAoA staff included Director of Policy Michelle Noth McCready, Senior Government Affairs Associate Nick Vucic and Communications and Public Affairs Specialist Sara Miller.
After introductions by the advocates, displaying the wide-range of backgrounds and professions present, CCAoA staff dove right into the difference between advocacy and lobbying. Following a short break, the crew returned to discuss what’s going on in Washington, D.C. with the budget and other federal initiatives pending. In this time, Nick covered not only what had occurred with the Government Shutdown and the resulting agreement, but also what the current status was for the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) reauthorization, the Proposed Regulatory Changes to CCDF, and the President’s Early Learning Initiative.
During the next portion of the training the advocates took out their magic wands and talked about what they could do if they had the capabilities to accomplish anything in the early childhood space, as well as what barriers were currently in their path to achieving those goals. When each group finished a brief presentation of their findings, Sara started the next part of the training, Engaging Today’s Generation, which covers how to use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Blogs to expand your organizations reach for advocacy.
Once Sara finished up her presentation and fielded questions from the advocates around social media, Michelle started the discussion around building an action day, giving the advocates present hypothetical situations and challenging them to come up with ways to get the attention of their policymakers.
The training ended with the advocates in the room going around and providing their bright ideas, takeaways, next steps, and potential partnerships.