News from the Executive Office

Motivation to Move Forward

I’ve been looking for words to motivate all of us at Maryland Family Network to continue to give our all for very young children and their families.  Many of our national partners have offered words of wisdom, and I’ve provided or linked to them here.

  • From Helen Blank, Director of Child Care and Early Learning, the National Women’s Law Center:

“We share with you a deep concern with the messages that came out of this election, and with the current landscape.  We are all assessing what it means for all our work on behalf of women and their families.

In the House, there are now 238 Republicans and 193 Democrats, with 4 seats yet to be decided – two in Louisiana and two in California. In the Senate, there are now 51 Republicans and 48 Democrats, with 1 seat yet to be decided.  The Administration and Congress will be controlled by one party for at least the next two years.

In the midst of our challenges, there may be an opportunity to move forward for families and children. It is because of your tireless work that child care became a priority for both Presidential candidates. The first national ad released by now President-Elect Trump focused on the importance of child care to our nation’s children, parents, and economy.  Responding to the candidates’ focus on child care, and recognizing the importance of child care in the daily lives of families across the country, the media has increased coverage of the issue.

We now are eager to work with you and our national partners to build bipartisan support in the House and Senate for substantial investments in child care, an issue that has always been bipartisan.

It may be a difficult road ahead. But support for increased federal and state investment in child care and early education is high across the political, geographic, and demographic lines. In Ohio, two local ballot initiatives to expand Preschool Access also passed on Tuesday.

We can take advantage of that support to make gains that benefit children and families, even in a challenging environment.

We have made some progress across party lines in every Administration since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.  Working together with a shared message about the importance of high-quality child care to America’s families and the child care workers who make it possible, we can continue on this path.”

“Much of our national focus in recent months and weeks has been on our country’s sharp divides and for some, the unclear path forward. Regardless of our personal feelings about the election, one point of clarity has emerged from the campaign season – issues that impact infants, toddlers and their families are being recognized by both sides of the aisle. Thanks to your tireless work, child care and paid family leave have risen to become priorities for both parties, at all levels of government.

Beyond the White House, this election will bring many new faces to Congress, to Governors’ mansions and to state legislatures. Many in the electorate feel our system isn’t working. At Zero to Three one of our goals is to make sure the system works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Zero to Three will continue to work in a nonpartisan way with policymakers, educating new and returning legislators about our shared priorities for infants, toddlers and their families. No matter their party, each and every elected official represents a potential champion for babies. All of society has a stake in whether babies get a strong start and support for increased investments in the early years spans the political, geographic and demographic lines that divide American voters.

Thank you for your commitment to improving the lives of babies and families. In the months and years ahead we resolve to continue our work with other organizations and with you to ensure that infants, toddlers and families have the supports they need to thrive and succeed. Because when babies succeed, so do we all.”

  • From a long-time leader in the nation’s family support movement, Charlie Bruner in Iowa, who offers four slides.