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(Alliance Partner Summit)

October 22 – 24  |  Atlanta, Georgia

Each year, the Alliance for Early Success brings together more than 200 state, national, and investor allies to share, learn, and connect. Our 2019 gathering was one of the most inspiring yet, and attendees left with new knowledge and connections that will help them ensure that every child in every state — birth through eight — has an equal chance to learn, grow, and succeed.

Session Resources:


PEP Up: Engaging Philanthropy in Early Childhood Advocacy and Policy

This will be a rousing session on an Alliance-led effort to do two things: engage more foundations to support early childhood advocacy and policy, and increase the resources they provide for. We’ll hear lessons learned from the five states participating in the PEP, also known as the Philanthropy Engagement Project. And our investor and advocacy friends in Connecticut will fill us in on their work. Come ready to have a spirited discussion about advocacy and policy activities that are and are not allowable under 501(c)3 IRS rules, funder preference and constraints, and how advocates and funders can work together to make the biggest impacts for young children and their families.

Jennifer Esterline, Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium
Jason Sabo, Frontera Strategy
Carol O’Donnell, Connecticut Early Childhood Funders Collaborative
Linda Fransicovich, Grossman Family Foundation
Merrill Gay, Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance
Elizabeth Fraser, Connecticut Association for Human Services             



For Baby’s Sake: The Role of Early Childhood Advocates in Improving Maternal and Infant Health
Although the overall rates of infant and maternal mortality remain high in our country, glaring racial disparities exist, with African American and Native American babies twice as likely to die during their first year of life than white babies, and with African American women three-to-four times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. Researchers attribute these disparities to a broad range of factors including persistent structural racism. In response, states and local communities have designed innovative initiatives to improve the early health and wellbeing of at-risk pregnant women and infants with a range of culturally responsive health care services, prenatal and early childhood services, and initiatives to dismantle systemic inequities. How can early childhood advocates partner with health advocates and practitioners to ensure that those supports include home visiting, parental leave, child care, and other early childhood services? This session will feature a step-by-step guide on how early childhood advocates in Michigan and Texas have forged relationships with the health care community and others to create a comprehensive vision to improve birth outcomes and the health and wellbeing of pregnant women while addressing the present-day consequences and impacts of our nation’s history of racism and discrimination.

Amy Zaagman, Michigan Council for Maternal and Child Health
Adriana Kohler, Texans Care for Children

Mother Infant Health & Equity Improvement Plan
Healthy Moms Raising Healthy Babies 
Ways and Means Hearing on Maternal Mortality 


Let’s Get Hitched: Marrying State and Federal Advocacy and Policy
The Alliance for Early Success has always recognized the essential relationship between state and federal advocacy, and like a good marriage, two-way communication lays a strong foundation. State advocates have expertise that helps national advocates inform federal policy and budget decisions. And state advocates must receive timely information about federal policy developments. The Alliance is launching a new effort to expand the capacity of state advocates to effectively leverage their state work to federal policy and communications. In the spirit of a good partnership, we want to hear what kind of information, communication, supports, and technical assistance have been most useful to you in the past, where you have gaps in knowledge, understanding, or skill, and what you would like to know about the federal advocacy process. We’ll share what 33 states have been doing to inform federal partners and invite all 50 to help us plan and join in this effort in the coming year.

Danielle Ewen, EdCounsel
Elizabeth Burke Bryant, Rhode Island Kids Count
Sarah Rittling, First Five Years Fund
Ceil Zalkind, Advocates for Children of New Jersey


Grassroots Advocacy: Partnering for Power
This session will explore the added value of a grassroots strategy in early childhood advocacy — from incorporating authentic voices in policy agenda development to partnering with organizing leaders with aligned goals. Representing both “red” and “blue” states, Alliance partners will share their experiences and lessons learned from engaging and empowering those most impacted by early childhood policy, growing their internal outreach capacity, and sharing power.

Mindy Binderman, Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students
Amanda Hollowell, 9to5 Georgia
Bharti Wahi, Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota
Moderator: Melissa Boteach, National Women’s Law Center


Let’s Talk about Compensation (Baby)

Compensation is no longer a taboo subject in early care and education. In recent years, state leaders and advocates have developed and implemented strategies that lead to mostly incremental — but sometimes transformative — improvements. What have we learned so far about the conditions for success in different political environments? What are we not doing enough of? What should we stop doing? What cautions should we keep in mind to minimize harm to the educators — or at least be strategic about disruptions that are created? This session will answer these questions by comparing and contrasting the recent developments in New York City and North Carolina.

Sue Russell, TEACH Early Childhood National Center
Anna Carter, ICF International
Jennifer March, Citizen’s Committee for Children of NYC

CBO Centers are Essential to Educating NYC’s Young Children
City Announces Deal on Early Education Salary Parity
In Their Own Words: Salary Disparities in NYC’s Early Childhood Workforce Must Be Addressed! (video)
T.E.A.C.H. Moving the Needle Compensation Initiative
NC Infant Toddler Educator AWARD$ Program
NC Senate Bill 212


Show Me the Money: Will the Opioid Litigation Result in More Funding for Early Childhood Prevention Programs?
States and local communities have been ravaged by the opioid crisis, with babies and children among the youngest victims. Oklahoma recently won a $572 million verdict against an opioid manufacturer, and several states have entered into a tentative settlement with one of the opioid manufacturers. With pending lawsuits filed by state, local and tribal governments, some have suggested that judgments and settlements could rival the tobacco settlement of the late 1990’s. As legal cases mount, so do questions over how the money from verdicts and settlements will be spent. This session will feature a discussion with former attorney general of Georgia, Samuel Scott Olens, regarding the status and magnitude of pending opioid lawsuits and strategies that advocates can use to steer funding to early childhood programs for children impacted by the crisis. This session will also feature insight from Mark Greenwold, Senior Consultant to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids and former Chief Counsel for Tobacco for the National Association of Attorneys General regarding important lessons learned from the tobacco settlement.

Samuel Scott Olens, Atty, Dentons, and Former Attorney General for Georgia
Mark Greenwold, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids; Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University Law Center

State Strategies to Meet the Needs of Young Children and Families Affected by the Opioid Crisis
The Thousands of Lawsuits Against Opioid Companies, Explained

Lessons from the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement of 1998


Have You Heard? The 2020 Elections are (Almost) Here
In 2019 there are three states with gubernatorial elections. In 2020 there are 11 more, along with lots of legislative races. And there are presidential and congressional elections, too. We are using the power of non-profit advocacy to get early childhood on the agenda. Come hear about a poll and and how it is being used to advance early childhood with candidates and influencers in Louisiana and Kentucky. We’ll all have a lively discussion about what is happening in states and what we can do to ensure young children and families are a top priority — before and as new policymakers are seated.               

Melanie Bronfin, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Libbie Sonnier-Netto, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Brigitte Blom Ramsey, Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence
Moderator: Jason Sabo, Frontera Strategy


States Lead the Way on Paid Family and Medical Leave
Only 15 percent of workers have access to paid family leave through an employer. For decades, five states – CA, HI, NJ, NY, and RI – offered partial wage replacement for family and medical leave using these states’ unique Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) programs. In recent years, five states without TDI programs – WA, DC, MA, CT, and OR – passed paid family and medical leave policies, and momentum is growing. Early childhood advocates rarely lead paid leave campaigns, but you can be an important voice for change. Learn how different states are designing their campaigns, including where to hold the line and where there is room for compromise. 

Sherry Leiwant, A Better Balance 
Clinton Macsherry, Maryland Family Network


Funding Our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care and Education
Thanks to the work of early childhood leaders across the country, support or early care and education is on the rise. But funding gaps pose a significant challenge to making quality early care and education a reality for more children. In this session, we will explore innovative ways to raise funds through dedicated state and local tax revenue, addressing essential guiding questions to focus on identification of an appropriate tax policy, tax policy areas that are available at the state and local level, and hearing from advocates about their experiences working to identify new state and/or local revenue streams beyond the general fund.  

Melanie Bronfin, Louisiana Policy Institute for Children
Harriet Dichter, BUILD Initiative
Dana Hepper, Children’s Institute
Bill Jaeger, Colorado Children’s Campaign
Amelia Vaughn, Children’s Funding Project

Innovative Financing to Expand Services So Children Can Thrive 
Funding our Future: Generating State and Local Tax Revenue for Quality Early Care and Education
Louisiana Policy Institute for Children – How Cities and States Dedicate Funds for Early Care and Education

Local Funding for Early Learning: A Community Toolkit

Session Slides:
Funding Our Future

Connecting the Dots: Ways in Which Early Childhood Advocates Can Support Prevention under the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)
The enactment of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) marks an historic opportunity for states to design integrated prevention systems for children and families on the brink of entering foster care, as well as children experiencing other risk factors. As states begin designing their prevention systems under this new law, early childhood advocates will need to be at the table with child welfare, mental health, and juvenile justice advocates, among others, to ensure that state prevention systems provide coordinated services that meet the needs of the whole child and family. Come hear the latest on state implementation of Family First and how early childhood advocates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have partnered with child welfare advocates, administrators, foster parents and grandparents, judges and others to create comprehensive prevention systems that strengthen families.

Ceil Zalkind, Advocates for Children of New Jersey
Rachael Miller, Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children
Danielle Ewen, EducationCounsel

NCSL Family First State Updates
Family First Prevention Services Act: What Early Childhood Advocates Should Know


Equity Begins with Listening
As early childhood policy professionals, we research and analyze, develop and recommend policies, and pursue advocacy agendas. We base our work on research, evidence, and “best practice,” and we develop ways to keep up with all of this knowledge. How often do we make a seat at the policy and practice tables for the children, families, and practitioners whose lives we hope to impact, or meaningfully base our work on their lived experiences? In this session, BUILD and NAEYC will reflect on what they’ve learned about how to keep the voices and perspectives of “beneficiaries” of our work at the center of their organizations’ everyday activities. State and national partners will explore strategies to do this in their own organizations in order to strengthen their research, policy proposals, communications and advocacy strategies, and ultimately, advance more equitable outcomes for young children and their families.

Lauren Hogan, National Association for the Education of Young Children
Sherri Killins, BUILD Initiative

Sample “Beneficiary Visit Protocol”
Flipping the Script: Educators Driving Policy
Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education
Power to the Profession

Equity Begins With Listening 


Where Has All the Family Child Care Gone?
The past decade saw a stunning decline in the supply of family child care homes with some states losing as many as 75% of their providers. This is especially troubling in rural areas where home-based child care is a crucial option. In this session, we’ll explore the factors that may be behind this trend, and we’ll hear about efforts in several states to reverse this troubling decline.

Mary Beth Testa, MBST Solutions
Adam Feser, Nebraska First Five
Reynaldo Green, Quality Care for Children

Child Care Aware of America CCR&R Paper 
Summary of Federal Legislation to Strengthen CACFP
U.S. HHS and USDA Guidance on Joint Monitoring
Office of Child Care virtual Infant/Toddler and School Age Institute 
NCECQA Paper on Addressing the Decreasing Availability of Family Child Care
NCECQA Family Child Care Policy Assessment and Planning Tool 
Additional NCECQA Resources