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Presidential Candidates Prioritize Young Children, Families, and Early Educators

Earlier this week, CNN and the Des Moines Register hosted the 7th Democratic Debate in Iowa. Only six Democratic presidential candidates made the cut for the debate – Former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer.

As you may already know, there has been a large, nationwide push from early childhood advocates to encourage moderators to include early childhood topics in the debates. In the past debates, we have joined early childhood advocates during Twitter chats before and during each debate encouraging moderators and candidates to discuss early childhood issues. Good news – it finally paid off! During Tuesday’s debate Moderator Brianne Pfannenstiel (Chief Politics Reporter at the Des Moines Register) asked candidates where they stood on child care and they answered.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Twitter chats before and during each debate! While we were excited to hear the candidates talk about child care, the conversation does not stop here. Please continue your efforts to make early childhood a priority in the upcoming election!


Strolling Thunder is Back!​

On May 5, babies & families from all 50 states & the District of Columbia will descend on Capitol Hill for ZERO TO THREE’s annual national Strolling Thunder event! The families will meet with their Members of Congress to remind them to invest in their youngest constituents.

We need your help! Do you know a family from Ohio with a paid leave and/or child care story who would be excited to travel to Washington, DC with their baby or toddler to urge Congress to be champions for babies?

There is no experience necessary & ZERO TO THREE will cover all travel costs for a parent, their children under age three, & an adult travel companion to assist with child care. They’ll also provide guidance, training, & support to families before, during & after their trip.

If you know a family who may be interested (with an emphasis on families from Congressmen Wenstrup, Stivers or Latta's districts), please have them fill out this interest form by Friday, February 7: If you or they have any questions, please read ZERO TO THREE’s FAQ or feel free to contact ZERO TO THREE will follow up with everyone who expresses interest by late March to let them know if they have been selected.

Help us make babies’ potential a national priority by sharing with your networks! Stay tuned for many more opportunities to urge your policymakers to Think Babies & Act!


Now Open: Register for Annual Literacy Academy​

Registration is now open for the Ohio Department of Education's annual Literacy Academy on February 19-20 at the Hyatt Renency Columbus. The Academy provides districts, schools, and early childhood providers with an opportunity to learn how they can promote and improve early literacy with the goal of raising literacy achievement. In addition to professional development and learning, attendees will also have many opportunities to network with peers.


New Podcast on Early Brain Development​

The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University recently announced a new podcast series focused on the importance of healthy brain development during a child’s early years. The podcast, The Brain Architects, released its first episode this week titled “Brain Architecture: Laying the Foundation.” In this week’s episode, panelists Dr. Jack Shonkoff, Dr. Pia Rebello Britto, Dr. Judy Cameron, and Debbie LeeKeenan discuss why early childhood and its experience is important for brain development and how these experiences and connections affect a child’s future health and outcomes.


National Home Visiting Summit Free Live Stream

Did you want to go to The Ounce of Prevention Fund's National Home Visiting Summit (January 29-31) but are unable to attend in person? No worries - the Ounce will be live streaming all of the plenaries during the Summit! The Summit will convene early childhood leaders, advocates, practitioners and decision makers in Washington D.C. to advance evidence-based home visiting as a powerful tool to improve child and family outcomes. During the Summit, there are four plenary sessions that you will not want to miss:

  • Maternal Care to 5—Systems Changes Supporting the MotherBaby - January 30th from 8:30 - 9:45 AM

  • Home Visiting Workforce Development During Rapid Scale-Up: Lessons from Other Countries - January 30th from 12:15 - 1:30 PM

  • Fulfilling the Promise and Meeting the Challenge of Home Visiting: What Do Families and Home Visitors Need? - January 31st from 8:30 - 9:45 AM

  • The Role of Home Visiting in Building Comprehensive Early Childhood Prevention Systems to Promote Population-Based Outcomes - January 31st from 12:00 - 1:15 PM

Don't miss out on these great sessions - register today for the (free) live stream!


Registration is Now Open: Ohio Early Childhood Conference​

Registration is now open for the Ohio Association for Educating Young Children's (OAEYC) Ohio Early Childhood Conference April 23 - 25 at Kalahari Resorts in Sandusky, Ohio. During the conference, you will have the opportunity to connect with fellow early childhood professionals and experts, attend learning sessions, receive professional development credits, enjoy the resort's amenities, and so much more! In addition to all of the great learning experiences and networking opportunities during the conference, you will not want to miss the keynote speakers! The keynote speakers include:

  • Deshauna Barber - Miss America, Captain in the U.S. Army and Diversity Champion

  • Gerry Brooks - YouTube Star and Educational Leader

  • Greg & Steve - Music Legends

  • Steve Gross - Chief Playmaker, Life is Good

Registration rates increase on February 22nd - so be sure to register soon! Also, Groundwork will be in attendance during the conference - please stop by and say hi!


New 2020 Census Community Outreach Funding Opportunity​

The Columbus Counts: 2020 Census Grants application is live! Mayor Andrew Ginther is providing funding to support local, community-based organizations in getting out the 2020 Census count in Columbus and Franklin County. The City's goal is to ensure every resident in Columbus and Franklin County is counted, especially individuals from traditionally HTC communities. This funding will be distributed through a mini-grant process administered by the United Way of Central Ohio. Each organization will receive a grant to implement Census activities that educate and organize their HTC community around the Census.

Applications are due by January 27 at 12pm. Applicant organizations are to be local community organizations (non-profits are preferred; for-profit entities with significant community experience will be considered on a case by case basis). The program accepts grant requests up to $7,500. For technical support, please email

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