By: Mindy Binderman for Saporta Report
Earlier this year, GEEARS hosted Georgia’s fourth annual Strolling Thunder. In partnership with ZERO TO THREE, this special event brought together infants, toddlers, and their families to urge policymakers to make the needs of Georgia’s youngest learners a statewide priority—for stronger families, vibrant communities, and a prosperous state.
Please watch our video to learn more about this fantastic virtual event.
We also want to share a few examples of how a diverse group of parents, caretakers, and teachers—from across the state—used their voices to advocate for Georgia’s youngest learners. Here they are in their own words:
“I think many families like ours could benefit from financial assistance when it comes to finding child care. Our babies, toddlers, and preschoolers deserve the best. And I am committed to seeing this change. It is my hope that are you too.”
– Mother of Four, Cobb County
“We deserve paid time off and it should be longer… I would love to see a change because baby bonding is so critical for both parents during an infant’s life. Please keep this in mind because it is so important for Georgia families.”
– Mother, West End neighborhood of Atlanta
“Programs like Babies Can’t Wait and other early education programs and resources are important to me. I hope you think about us when you are creating, choosing, and funding programs like these [programs].”
– Parent of Two
“When I had my daughter, I could barely pull together enough paid/unpaid leave to spend 2 months at home with my newborn daughter. I strongly encourage you to vote yes on any measure that will provide paid family leave to state (and all) employees.”
– Parent, Decatur
“Now, more than ever with families losing their jobs or struggling, paid family leave is important. I am hoping that by sharing my story you can take into consideration that we the people of Georgia need this.”
– Parent of Two, Mableton
“I attribute my daughter’s learning to the Quality Rated child care she receives. What concerns me is that other children may miss out on the opportunity to build their educational foundation, especially because of the pandemic. I’m asking you to support efforts to provide pandemic relief to Quality Rated child care centers.”
– Mother, South Atlanta
“I am writing you to ask you to advocate for not only affordable child care, but also for quality early childhood education, because I believe children need a good start in order to be successful in life and that starts with quality education.”
– Parent of 3, Stone Mountain
We want to thank everyone who participated, and we look forward to seeing you in person next year!