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The Future Begins with Babies Newsletter

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October 11, 2018

Welcome to The Future Begins with Babies newsletter! Every month, we will be sending out a newsletter with updates from our Right From the Start New Jersey campaign!

Two Recent Participants of ACNJ's Advocacy Training on Child Care Share Their Experiences

This summer, ACNJ began a series of advocacy trainings to teach parents and providers the skills they need to become effective advocates for affordable high-quality child care. We are excited at the overwhelming response to the trainings and that participants are excited to become involved in our campaign advocacy efforts! This kickoff issue features stories from two of our amazing participants!

Meet Ashanti Jones, a first time mom of a 1-year-old, who shares her decision to advocate for child care.

From left to Right: Patricia Canning (ACNJ Right From the Start NJ coordinator), Congressman Donald Payne, Ashanti Jones (parent/advocate), Cecilia Zalkind (ACNJ president/CEO)

This past August, Ashanti alongside ACNJ staff met with Congressman Donald Payne to share her story and advocate for more affordable high-quality child care. She says ACNJ’s advocacy training helped prepare her for it.

"The material was easy to understand and it allowed us to finally identify what our issues were. It allowed parents to identify their voice and to make sure what they have to say does not fall on deaf ears. I loved how applicable the material was for anyone in any facet of childcare, whether they were parents, advocates or providers, the material was streamlined to address each view. I left the training empowered and equipped to become a change agent for our babies and kids.

Meet Keisha Wright-Daniel, who shares her struggle in providing affordable quality child care.

Left to right: Digna Townsend (Congressman Donald Norcross aide), Keisha Wright-Daniel (director of child care center in Pennsauken), Cynthia Rice (ACNJ policy analyst)

Keisha shares that as a child care center director, she struggles making ends meet. Ninety-eight percent of her families receive subsidies to help pay for their child care, but it does not cover the costs of the center.  She attended ACNJ’s advocacy training in Camden along with a few of her staff members. In September, she went with ACNJ staff to meet with Congressman Donald Norcross’s aide, Digna Townsend, to share her story. 

Keisha says she is “hopeful that early childhood education will become a priority. Children are entitled to quality environments where parents and teachers are less stressed. Only then will they thrive.”

Read more about Ashanti and Keisha.

New Report Examines Opportunities, Challenges Faced By Young Parents

A recent report released by The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Opening Doors for Young Parents, focuses on young families and highlights the everyday opportunities and challenges they face. Young parents have specific needs and systems are not designed with these families in mind. In the state of New Jersey, where affordable quality child care is hard to find, for young parents without an education or training, the danger of capturing two generations in a poverty cycle is often a sad reality. Read more.

Latest blog discusses millennial's dilemma on child care options

Hannah Korn-Heilner, ACNJ Right From the Start NJ outreach coordinator

Check out a blog by Hannah Korn-Heilner, our Right From the Start NJ outreach coordinator. She shares her perspective on millennial's child care options given the high cost. Make sure to share your comments!  Read blog.

Advocates for Children of New Jersey(ACNJ) is leading a statewide effort to put “birth-to-3” on the public agenda and bring attention to what infants and toddlers need to thrive:

Strong Families

Healthy Starts

Positive Early Learning Environments

ACNJ is a proud partner of the Right from the Start NJ campaign and the national ZERO TO THREE Think Babies campaign. 

Visit us at ACNJ.org to learn more.


Questions about this newsletter? Contact Hannah Korn-Heilner, MSW, Outreach Coordinator at hkornheilner@acnj.org.

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