What's at Stake in this Election
Healthy Development: The first 3 years of life shape all the rest and represent the most rapid period of brain development, setting the stage for all future learning and life success. When we fail to support the healthy development of young children, beginning even before birth, and to ensure the physical and mental health of their parents, we limit their opportunities to thrive and succeed.
Supported Families: Young children develop in the context of their families, and all families benefit from supports to be the best parents they can be for their children. Families living in poverty or in low-income households experience many obstacles and are under-resourced to meet the challenges of raising a family. Families must have resources to meet their basic needs for food, health care, jobs that pay a living wage, safe affordable housing, home visiting and parenting education services, and much more. Child care is an essential support for parents to be able to work, increasing their family’s economic security while providing their children with high-quality early learning opportunities.
Educational Success: Research shows that access to high-quality early learning is one of the most reliable ways to drive student achievement. Children’s development and learning in the first few years lay the foundation for all of the years that follow. Children who attend high-quality early education programs are better prepared for success in school—academically, socially, and emotionally. They are more likely to read by third grade, graduate high school, attend college, and obtain employment, and less likely to need behavioral interventions or become involved in the criminal justice system.
Economic Prosperity: Economic growth depends on smart investments. Investing in high-quality early care and learning results in a 13% return on investment, and reduces taxpayer expenses for remedial education, health care, and other societal problems. In North Carolina, the child care industry provides early care and learning for 250,000 children and generates $3 billion in annual revenue to our state’s economy. When families do not have the child care they need, parents’ work productivity falls, resulting in costs to parents, their employers, and, ultimately, taxpayers. The lack of reliable child care for working parents of young children costs our state $1.7 billion each year.
Every Child's Potential: Policymakers have the opportunity and the obligation to address the systemic racism that exists throughout our early childhood system and society at large. It's time to develop policies that remove the structural barriers facing too many children, families, and communities of color in our state. We must ensure that all children have access to a sound basic education starting in early childhood, with equitable opportunities to achieve their full potential regardless of their race, family income, or zip code.
NC Early Childhood Policy Priorities
The NC Early Education Coalition and the Think Babies™ NC Alliance support these critical policy priorities for babies, young children, and their families.
- Paid Family and Medical Leave
- Workplace Accommodations for Pregnant Employees
- Access to Health Care Coverage
- Home Visiting and Parenting Education Programs
- Child Care Assistance for Parents
- Well-Qualified and Well-Compensated Early Educators
- Smart Start funding for early learning, child health and family support services
- Access to NC Pre-K in all 100 counties
- Implementation of the Leandro v. State of North Carolina court order for early education
Who's on the Ballot in NC
The election this November offers voters a chance to select candidates to represent them at the national, state and local level. Here's a look at all of the offices on the ballot in North Carolina this year:
- President of the United States
- 1 seat in the U.S. Senate
- 13 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
- Lieutenant Governor
- 50 seats in the NC Senate
- 120 seats in the NC House of Representatives
- State Superintendent
- Supreme Court Justices and other Judges
- Dozens of Mayors, City Council seats, County Commissioners, School Board Members, and other local offices
Will these candidates speak up for babies? Click on the link below and enter your address to find out who’s running for office in your district and learn more about them. Then ask them if they will stand up for young children and families!