Ms. Liz Goes to Washington

Members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children’s (NAEYC) Northern Virginia affiliate attended the annual NAEYC Public Policy Forum in Washington, DC from March 4th to March 6th.

The two-day forum featured training sessions and workshops that focused on effective child/family advocacy, best practices and ongoing legislation pertaining to early childhood education.

Following the forum, a delegation led by Main Street Pre-K teacher Ms. Liz Cassidy, the affiliate’s Public Policy Chair, visited Capitol Hill to meet with Rep. Gerry Connolly (VA-11) and staffers from the offices of Sen. Tim Kaine (VA) and Sen. Mark Warner (VA).

There, Cassidy and her colleagues spoke of the challenges faced by local programs, the successes that educators have experienced, and how services, such as mental health and family outreach, are important in preparing children for school and life.

The delegation advocated for increased funding for disadvantaged families and expanded professional development/higher education opportunities for teachers while expressing the need for better compensation for hard-working educators.

Hill staffers in attendance expressed interest in seeing Main Street in action and learning about other local programs. Rep. Connolly is familiar with Main Street. In 2002, he facilitated Main Street’s move into Fairfax City’s Green Acres Community Center.