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Action Day 2014


June 3, 2014 was designated as Early Childhood Action Day in Pennsylvania.   Once again, child care providers, Early Intervention workers, Head Start and Pre-K Counts staff, parents, educators and families gathered in Harrisburg to talk with legislators about the importance of early education to children, families, communities, schools and businesses. After participating in meetings with legislators, everyone gathered to hear a number of speakers during a Rally in the Rotunda.  


Action Day 2014
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Action Day 2013


April 23, 2013 was designated as Early Childhood Action Day in Pennsylvania.  The day featured:

  • 200 visits to legislators in their Harrisburg offices to deliver educational materials on the need to continue support for Pennsylvania’s early childhood education programs. 
  • More than 500 participants in rally in the Capitol Rotunda, featuring speakers from the Senate, House of Representatives , Early Learning Investment Commission and early childhood education programs from across the state.



Bill Grant, 2013 VOICE for Children Award Winner and CEO of Hildebrandt Learning Centers, speaks to a crowd of more than 200 at 2013 Early Childhood Action Day.  



Action Day 2012

Check out pictures from 2012 Action Day below!


2012 Action Day
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Action Day 2011


Early Childhood Action Day Assembles Its Largest Crowd To Date!


Building upon the success of last year's Early Childhood Action day, parents, teachers, practitioners and early childhood care and education advocates traveled in buses, vans and cars from all across Pennsylvania to Harrisburg, Tuesday, April 12, 2011. Participants came to visit legislators, share their story and talk with them about the importance of quality early childhood care and education in Pennsylvania.

 

Legislative visits took place throughout the day and professional development sessions were offered to participants throughout the morning. A mid-day rally held in the Capitol Rotunda included nearly 700 early childhood advocates and was led by Michelle Figlar, Executive Director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children.

 

Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley spoke first and emphasized why investing in early childhood education is so important to the Commonwealth.

"Pennsylvania faces tough choices as we rise to the challenge of a $4 billion budget deficit. But Governor Corbett and I understand the importance of investing in early childhood and so this budget maintains support for critical developmental programs," Cawley said after sharing a personal story about being the adoptive father of a 4-year-old boy. He also added that even though the state is facing tough choices, the budget includes nearly $38 million for Head Start and more than $83 million for Pre-K Counts noting, "that when we invest now, we reap huge dividends later."

Other speakers included Sen. Pat Browne (R-Lehigh) and Rep. Phyllis Mundy (D-Luzerne), co-chairs of the Early Childhood Education Caucus, a nearly 90 member, bi-cameral, bi-partisan group; Lloyd Lamm, First National Bank of Pennsylvania; Jane Ervin, president of Community Services for Children, Allentown; Nicole Coleman a mother of three whose children attended Keystone STARS facilities in Pittsburgh and Sharon Neilson, Director of Woodland Academy Child Development Centers in Philadelphia.

 

PennAEYC Executive Director, Jodi Askins, "We were honored to help lead the event. I am thrilled with the level of participation from across the state and know that the legislature and administration heard the rally cry. Even more importantly, participants were able to experience a sense of community much larger than their own local area. People who attended can now be confident and proud that they are a part of an early childhood movement sweeping across our state."

 

For more information on the impact of Action Day, visit PennAEYC's website.  To see some video clips from Action Day, click these links:

 

Action Day 2010

Record Attendance Set in Capitol Rotunda Tuesday, June 8 


Close to 650 early childhood education teachers, parents and advocates were accompanied by a contingency of state law makers to show their support for early childhood education (ECE) funding and the passage of a timely state budget.  

 

The congregation, which gathered inside the Rotunda, discussed how in investing early care and education can positively impact the lives of children and the families who utilize the programs. Coupled with that, was the message of how the legislature must increase revenue streams to maintain or even increase funding to keep the programs from being impaired. 

 

"It was a tremendous show of support," said Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children Executive Director Jodi Askins.  "To have all those teacher, parents - close to 650 strong from acros this Commonwealth - and even members of the legislature on hand to speak and show support is truly amazing.  We truly hope this sends the message that we do not want a repeat performance of a lengthy impasse." 

 

The Early Childhood Education Caucus Co-Chairs Representative Pat Harkins and Senator Pat Browne as well as Senator Jay Costa; Representatives  Dwight Evans, Ron Waters; Tony Payton; Vanessa Lowery Brown; Cherelle Parker, Rosita Youngblood; John Siptroth; Louise Bishop;Jewell Williams; and Scott Conklin were on hand to speak the importance of investing in early care and education as the smart and right action for the legislature as the June 30 budget deadline approaches.

 

Sen. Costa introduced gubernatorial candidate Dan Onorato as "one of the best early childhood advocates he personally knows."  According to Onorato, early childhood education is a good economic development policy.  "This gives families the opportunity to maintain a job knowing that their children are in a quality place that is safe and will educate and nurture them," Onorato said.  If elected governor, he pledged to do two things: make sure public education is funded and to find more funding for

early childhood education adding rather than spending so much money on the department of corrections, "we should be starting early, to keep kids out of jail in the first place."  Though Onorato's gubernatorial competitor Tom Corbett was unable to attend, Jim Cawely the republican candidate for lieutenant governor  shared similar sentiments stating, "the better education our children have, the better off we'll all be."



Action Day 2009

A report from PennAEYC Executive Director Jodi Askins
 
Since its modest beginnings four years ago, the grassroots Early Childhood Action Day campaign has been expanding - for the past two years, more than 500 educators, parents, and community members committed to developing quality early education programs in Pennsylvania have converged on the Rotunda of the Main Capitol building in Harrisburg.

This year was no different! More than 500 individuals converged on Harrisburg on May 12, bringing an urgent message to members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to support continued state investments in early learning programs. Every member of the legislature received our gift of The Little Engine that Could and information about the importance of these investments - and nearly every member was visited personally by constituents.

Bringing together those 500 individuals inside the Capitol, the rally speakers made sure our voices were heard throughout the halls! We welcomed new faces to the podium including business leaders, grandparents/seniors, parents and TEACH scholars. Everyone knew we were there in support of quality early learning opportunities for all PA children! 

Thank you to all who attended and for those of you that participated from your local community through our virtual action day e-mails and faxes.  Keep an eye out for continued messages on what we can do to keep encouraging our elected officials on stay on the right track!