ACNJ's Featured Advocate
Monique Baptiste is a Newark resident and mother of four who attended Strolling Thunder New Jersey in May. Recently, she accompanied ACNJ staff to a hearing on child care with the Assembly Committee on Women and Children to share her story. Monique testified about the high cost of child care, the difficulty in finding quality care and the lack of services for mothers who suffer with post-partum depression but do not have health insurance. Like many in the room, she too counted down the days when her child would be eligible for free preschool. While Monique is grateful she had her mother to help, she knows that far too many families have limited child care options. High-quality child care provides babies with a stimulating learning environment where they can grow and develop the social and emotional skills they will need to succeed in school. Monique believes that all families should have the opportunity to send their babies to high-quality child care.
ACNJ has been on the move, and is working hard to ensure that children birth-to-3 have a voice!
Last month, ACNJ held another advocacy training in Paterson, then traveled to Ocean County in October for a training in Toms River. Thanks to everyone who attended and participated!
On October 17th, we were fortunate to have Louise Stoney, a national expert on child care financing, visit New Jersey to share her innovative ideas with state legislators, NJ funders and members from our Think Babies Coalition, where we learned how quality child care funding is possible.
Last weekend, ACNJ staff members attended the 1st Annual Essex County Prenatal to 3 Summit, hosted by Assemblywomen Cleopatra Tucker, Shanique Speight, Britnee Timberlake, Shavonda Sumter, Angela McKnight, Eliana Pintor-Marin, and Senator Teresa Ruiz, over at NJIT’s Newark campus. ACNJ’s senior policy analyst, Cynthia Rice, spoke with parents about some of the challenges with finding affordable child care and presented on a panel about child care policies. Members of ACNJ's Right From The Start NJ team were also on hand, answering questions and asking attendees about their experiences finding child care for their babies in Essex County.
This past weekend, ACNJ staff spoke with parents at the “You Got This” mini-conference hosted by the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence. ACNJ staff passed out Think Babies brochures and flyers and ACNJ President and CEO Cecilia Zalkind presented the Think Babies campaign to the families that attended.