Early childhood educators and providers care for our young children from birth through preschool and then often beyond school hours year round. Families rely on providers of all types - state-funded, home-based, school readiness, and private - and these professionals are involved at the local and state level helping to create a comprehensive early childhood system.
Discovery communities reach out to providers to participate at the collaborative table and help improve the quality and increase access to programs. Providers' unique perspectives are invaluable to the local community planning process. Providers are also connected to the families they serve and can help to ensure that families' voices are heard on issues that touch their lives every day.
Family child care providers are pillars of their neighborhoods and communities; they run local businesses, care for the community’s children, and build relationships with families in the community. Too often, however, their voices go unheard. All Our Kin highlights the work of family child care providers at the local and the state level, and connects providers to training, advocacy, and leadership opportunities.
At the state level, staff at the Connecticut Association for Human Services (CAHS) has a keen understanding of public policy as it relates to early childhood providers. In collaboration with Voices for Children, CAHS keeps the early childhood education field apprised of policy developments regarding providers. CAHS also convenes the Providers Caucus, which brings together private and public early childhood education providers to discuss relevant issues. Representatives from the Providers Caucus have a voice at the Early Childhood Alliance, which represents stakeholders across the state.