One of the most effective ways to ensure quality early education and protect the health and safety of children is to advocate on their behalf, and CCDAA is here to help! Below you will find out why it's so important to advocate for the children and families you serve, and what you can do to help.
Your ECE Advocacy Toolbox
1. What is legislative advocacy?
Almost anything done to influence a legislator's position on legislation or public policy. Writing letters, making phone calls, visiting legislators and testifying before committees all come under the heading of legislative advocacy. A lot of advocacy is just a matter of individual, private citizens speaking out by writing, calling and meeting with their legislators and other public officials. It is a practical way for individuals to translate their concerns about children into policies and laws.
This page is designed to assist you in your legislative advocacy efforts. It contains a number of tools you can use to find your legislator, make an appointment with your legislator, or write a letter to your legislator. For up-to-date information on current child care legislation of interest to CCDAA, click here.
There are a number of ways that you can step up and take action to improve the lives of children. Some take just a few seconds and some a bit longer. Below are different ways you can advocate on behalf of children.
Sending an email to your elected officials is a quick and easy way to voice your concerns about an issue in your community, a bill, or anything else! The email address for your State Senator or Assemblymember is: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
You can call your Senator or Assemblymember’s office and share your opinion about a bill or an issue that impacts the children and families in your community. (Don't know who they are? Find out here.). Once you are connected to the right office, ask to speak to the staff member who works on children's issues. Clearly have in mind your message and request for your legislator.
Writing a personal letter is a great way to communicate with your elected officials. Elected officials are happy to receive personal letters from constituents, as they know it takes time to write a letter with a well-thought out message. Learn more about how to write a compelling letter to your elected officials.
A personal meeting with your elected official can be an effective way to persuade that official to support your cause. It is an opportunity for you or your group to sit down face-to-face with a key decision-maker to convey your thoughts on an issue. Learn more about how you can prepare for a meeting, what to do at the meeting and how to follow-up.
An op-ed is an opinion piece written by an individual who is not an employee of the newspaper. Op-eds are a great advocacy tool and a way to raise awareness about children's issues—if published, they are read by decision makers, opinion leaders and fellow citizens. Learn more about op-eds and how to write one.
This flowchart illustrates how a bill becomes a law in California. There are a variety of paid and free resources that offer an analysis of State and Federal bills that impact children and child care issues. CCDAA also tracks current child care legislation of interest in a legislative grid.
The California State Budget, after the State constitution, is the most important document in California Government. The process during which the State budget is developed and adopted can seem confusing, but is a wonderful opportunity for you to provide your input on proposed changes to the budget and advocate for services and funding for children and families in your programs and community.
The State of California's Citizen's Guide to the Budget Process--which includes dates, timelines, and a glossary--is a great resource for a newbie to the State budget process.
Join the CCDAA Advocacy Committee! The CCDAA Advocacy Committee works tirelessly to educate members about the most pressing issues in early education in California. Committee members are active locally and support CCDAA members, parents, and others both regionally and at the Capitol to become passionate advocates. Join us to help create a better future for California's children and families!