At BrightSpark Early Learning Services, we recognize that while our programs and services are meant to improve all children’s access to quality early learning experiences, the early learning system has its flaws. Both in Washington state and throughout the United States, providers are chronically underpaid while costs of early learning programs continue to soar.
This is why our legislative advocacy work is an integral component of what we do, and why our legislative agenda focuses on raising provider
BrightSpark’s Mobilization Coordinator, Jaymie McLaughlin, uses her passion, energy, and talents to bring together community members and empower them to make their voices heard on early learning policies. Below, Jaymie shares a bit about why this work is so important, and some of the ways our advocacy work unites people to be activists and impact legislation.
If you would like to support our efforts in creating an equitable early learning system, consider supporting BrightSpark today! Donate before May 3rd and your gift will be matched by an individual donor up to $10,000.
From Jaymie: “Community advocacy is how we get work done. Grassroots movements are the core of effective social change and community improvement, which is why it is such a priority for us here at BrightSpark. Our creation of district-specific advocacy groups, lovingly referred to as advocacy pods, has created a system for connecting constituents directly with their elected officials.
“Each group spends time sharing anecdotes, testimony, concerns, and making direct asks of their legislators. These direct, face-to-face, or Zoom-to-Zoom, moments ensure that community member voices are the educators of their needs. This empowers the voices of those doing the work to inform those who make decisions that affect their work.
“Our work at BrightSpark is also informed by community advocates, who help steer legislative priorities, plan community events, and build passion for solutions. The engagement we experience from these community members is both inspiring and humbling. We know many are exhausted from balancing busy schedules and caring for their littles. Nevertheless, these dedicated providers, parents, aunts and uncles, grandparents, and BrightSpark staff members take time to make their voices heard in their district groups and/or on the congressional floor.
“Advocacy is in all that we do at BrightSpark. Whether it’s sharing a story of a family who lost their subsidy, supporting a provider navigating a difficult system, or rallying on the Capitol steps, advocacy at the community level is core to who we are and creating equitable early learning communities.”
You can also support our ability to continue this work by donating! Your gift helps us work to change systems and policies, compensate community members for their time testifying, spread the word about important legislation, and so much more. Remember, if you give before May 3, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous community donor up to $10,000.