Seven Actions the Business Community Can Take to Advocate for Improved Early Child Development:
- Advocate for parents to have a choice of providers. Whether early childhood programs are delivered by public, private, or nonprofit providers, communities should ensure that quality programs are available and convenient for the families who need them.
- Encourage high quality early learning and K–12 alignment. Too often, children are in programs that do not adequately prepare them for success in kindergarten. Encouraging better alignment between early learning programs and kindergarten will help children learn to the best of their ability.
- Promote early learning policies as part of the economic development agenda. Several studies have shown the return on investment that early learning programs can bring to communities. From the number of people employed to the supports provided to working parents to the long-term benefits for children who attend high-quality programs, early learning policies should be considered with the economic development plans.
- Encourage the inclusion of early childhood data in the statewide longitudinal data system. As a nation, we need more information about which programs work, who benefits, and where we need new and better solutions. Tying early childhood data to statewide longitudinal data systems will help provide the information that policymakers and parents need.
- Encourage Colorado to adopt a universal Quality Rating Information System (QRIS). QRIS is essential for consumers to distinguish between high-quality programs and programs that need improvement. Rating systems are one way to achieve transparency and accountability so that parents and policymakers know which programs meet quality standards.
- Encourage business organizations and networks to adopt a policy position in support of public investments for effective, high quality early education programs.
- Join EPIC
Advocate for Public Policy that Makes a Positive Difference for Businesses and Families
- In Colorado, plan to reach out to candidates for public office to let them know you care about seeing Colorado invest in early childhood development
- At the national level, you can advocate for Pre-K to become part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
- Sign up to receive information from the Colorado Children’s Campaign about upcoming events
- Encourage your colleagues and peers to get involved by directing them to this toolkit
- Organize your own local event to promote the importance of early childhood development
- Contact Colorado’s policy-makers when legislation is being considered that would affect your ability to support your employees’ needs.