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Invest Early Coalition

Published on December 11, 2018 under Winter

Today I thought a give you a little insight into my life outside of our Preschool family. Sometimes it can get hectic and I always want you to understand that when I’m not here there really is a good reason. I was fully present with my kids until 1015 this morning when I had to leave for a meeting.

Today the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families convened to hold a summit on policies affecting children in the upcoming legislative session. There is a team of amazing people that work hard advocating for children’s issues year around and I am on that team but this was a convening of a larger set of people to gain support, educate, and network. Today, we talked about issues that affect children such as healthcare, the cost of childcare, homelessness , and so much more. When I go to meetings like this I am reminded of the little bubble that I live in. And that quite honestly that you get to share with me free of cost. You won’t really understand that bubble of safety until you have to leave it. Many years ago the same group met and that is exactly why you have the funding provided for free pre-K today. As we move forward we look at the next steps which might be finding more funding since we have not had a raise in 10 years. It might be adding quality care and focusing on babies up to three years old. There are so many important things that need attention.

That was my day today.

There were school administrators at the meeting. There were teachers. They were even legislators present and on a panel.

I only felt my blood pressure go up one time and that is when a school district employee from another area stood up and quite emphatically ( and arrogantly ) said she believes that all preschoolers belong in the school system because they have all of the services they might need to provide quality care and they are the most qualified. I think I actually felt my heartbeat in my throat. I believe with all my heart that there is a place for every child. I do not believe that all children or families would fit in the family childcare atmosphere. I appreciate the fact that Arkansas families have a choice as to what type of setting they would like their child’s first experiences for early care and education to be in. I think I educate you constantly on why I believe homes are a wonderful place for young children to be . I don’t have to beat that horse tonight. But hopefully you see why – when these discussions take place it is important for my voice to be at the table and to be heard. It’s not a selfish” don’t forget me platform” It is truly a desire to make sure the parents that want a choice for their child’s preschool experience to be in a wonderful home environment still have that.

Now yesterday – Branson with Randy. That was self care which is also important. We rarely take time out of school for “us.” Print text yesterday and said how did you do that. My simple reply was, I am the boss. I leave very loving and capable people in charge of a home. I would not leave their children if I would not leave my own grandchildren. That says a lot. So yeah so far this week we have indulged in one day of self-care and one day of blood pressure rising advocating. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow holds. 🤷🏻‍♀️

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