NAEYC Public Policy Forum 2023

Women from the Iowa AEYC team took to our nation’s capital for NAEYC’s 2023 Public Policy Forum! They had the opportunity not only to learn about effective advocacy strategies, but also to advocate for continued increases in funding to make quality child care affordable for families while paying providers a competitive wage. They also met with staffers for U.S. legislators from the state of Iowa!

Joining the Iowa AEYC team this year was:

· Ashley Otte – Director of Workforce Initiatives

· Lauren Linnenbrink – WAGE$ Coordinator

· Jill Applegate – Child Care Advocate and Activist

· Jennifer Wright – Governing Board Public Policy Co-Chair

· Brenda Loop – Governing Board Secretary

And the officials we met with were:

· Katie Wood – Staffer for U.S. Senator Joni Ernst

· Liesel Crocker and Reid Willis – Staffers for U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley

· Nick Bowser – Staffer for U.S. Representative Ashley Hinson

· Zach Nunn – U.S. Representative

Here’s what our Public Policy Co-Chair, Jennifer Wright, had to say about her experience:

“I’m incredibly proud of the team we brought to Washington D.C. for NAEYC’s Public Policy Forum. We had a splendid time hearing from professionals across the nation in their efforts to elevate this field. For our day in the Hill we were able to meet with staffers from the offices of Senator Chuck Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst, Representative Ashley Hinson, and Representative Zach Nunn himself. We discussed the challenges our field is facing with a special consideration to competitive compensation. I’m especially grateful to this team for their involvement in this forum and the conversations they prepared for. They led with confidence and a great responsibility to share what we know about the importance of early child care professionals.”

Many thanks to our federal legislators for their recent increases in the Child Care Development Block grant which will result in nearly $17 million additional dollars to support early childhood education in Iowa.

Iowa AEYC Team