ORAEYC is a leading voice for high-quality early childhood education supported by a diverse, dynamic early childhood profession. With Americans of all political, geographic, and demographic backgrounds, we are coming together to demand investment in high-quality early childhood education and early childhood educators, because we know that will make America brighter, stronger, and more competitive.
About Our Work
ORAEYC’s Public Policy Committee travels to Washington D.C. to meet with our Federal and State legislators about what is happening in our communities and how they can support the children and families of Oregon.
Spearheading advocacy and public policy in Oregon is part of ORAEYC’s mission. Early childhood professionals understand the importance of quality early childhood education programs and the lasting impact that a good start in life provides for all young children. ORAEYC’s Public Policy Committee is dedicated to improving early childhood education in Oregon by supporting our members to be effective early childhood advocates. We also collaborate with other early childhood advocacy groups to promote smart public policies that improve quality and address the critical needs of young children and their families.
Each one of you is an advocate. When you prepare a child for kindergarten, you are their advocate. When you connect their parents to community resources, you are their advocate. When you participate in professional development, speak in front of your City Council, call or email your elected officials or vote for policymakers who invest in early childhood education, you are an advocate for our profession. Each one of you is an advocate. And we need your voice now more than ever.
In Congress, negotiations continue for the Biden administration’s Build Back Better plan. Moderate/conservative Democrats have said they won’t support either the full $3.5 billion cost or the proposed taxes on large corporations and wealthy Americans to pay for the package. Biden recently outlined details of the scaled back $1.9 trillion package, including:
Universal Preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, with 50% state match for costs ($200 billion)
Child care entitlement for 0- to 5-year-olds – details still under negotiation
Extending the child tax credit for 1 year
Paid family & medical leave for 4 weeks for families with incomes below $100,000
Expansion of child nutrition programs – both expanding eligibility for school lunches and expanding summer meals funding
Improvements to health care, including expanding Medicaid coverage for people for 12 months after giving birth, adding vision, hearing and dental benefits (or 1-2 of these…), continuing subsidies to buy health insurance from an exchange, allowing Medicaid to negotiate drug prices, and providing Medicaid option to people in states that haven’t taken advantage of Medicaid expansion.
The House of Representatives has passed the bill and it is currently in the Senate awaiting negotiations. Want to help get it passed? Visit the Action Center from the First Five Years Fund and reach out to your local legislators today! https://ffyf.quorum.us/action_center/
What the Legislators Have To Say
“Saving our childcare system and making it more accessible is also essential to our recovery. I’m grateful this update includes the strong investment I advocated for that will help working families and early childhood educators. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to immediately pass this relief package. Our communities cannot wait any longer.” – Congresswoman Bonamici
Congresswoman Bonamici recently released a report on the state of childcare in Oregon and what can be done to support the children and families in our communities. You can read the report here.
“This vote will go down in history as one of the most transformative steps Congress has ever taken to tackle our climate crisis, create family-wage jobs, and lower health, child, and family care costs for our families. Those steps will translate into big wins for Oregonians, our environment, and our economy as we keep fighting to create the kind of future our children deserve.” – Representative Earl Blumenauer, District 3
How you can help
Visit USA.gov to find your local representative, reach out and urge them to support children and families in your community.
Use this #SaveChildCare toolkit to find suggestions for emails, phone calls and social media posts to contact your legislators and raise awareness about the childcare crisis.
Visit https://www.naeyc.org/events/policy-forum for more information on how to join the Oregon team!