Elected officials at all levels of government—federal, state, and local—have the power to positively impact early childhood outcomes. Some of these offices are listed below. Click any of the underlined offices below to learn more about their role and who is running in 2022.
2022 Runoff Election Update: When no candidate receives 50% of the votes in the general election, a runoff between the top two vote-getters is required in Georgia. Statewide, voters will be voting for the U.S. Senate seat up for election. Some counties have down-ticket races as well.
Every child has the right to fair education and [a] brighter future. Child care should not be a privilege, it should be available for every child.- Atlanta Mother
What does a Member of Congress do?
The Senate is one of Congress’ two chambers and is composed of two Senators from each of the 50 states, for a total of 100 Members. Each Senator is elected to a six-year term and represents the entire state. Only one of two U.S. Senate seats in Georgia is up for election in 2022.
The House of Representatives is Congress’ other chamber, composed of 435 Members that proportionally represent the population of the 50 states. Georgia currently has 14 Representatives in the U.S. House, each representing a distinct geographic district. Serving two-year terms, all U.S. Representatives are up for re-election in 2022.
As members of the legislative branch, Senators and Representatives introduce bills and resolutions, vote on pending legislation, offer amendments, and serve on committees.
What could a Member of Congress do to expand access to early learning and support the healthy development of Georgia’s youngest children?
As policymakers, our U.S. Senators and Representatives can do the following:
- Write, introduce, and support legislation to expand and improve supports for young children, families, and the people who care for them, such as the proposed significant, sustainable investments in early childhood education considered, but not passed, this year.
- Vote against bills that could negatively impact family or child well-being.
- Ensure adequate funding for existing programs and services that serve young children and families, including: Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), Head Start, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP).
- Earmark community project funds to support high-quality early learning and healthy development of young children and their families.
This is the first major election since U.S. House districts were redrawn based on the 2020 Census. Please double-check your district using My Voter Page before heading to the polls.
Paid maternity and paternity leave is needed and it provides many benefits to families and the community. Being able to spend time with your kids helps create bonds of a lifetime. It helps engage parents to be active participants in their kids’ lives. And the peace of mind creates more engaged, happy workers when they return to the workforce.- Atlanta Father
There are a large number of state-level offices on the ballot this year, some of which are listed below. Click through to learn about the role of each office and what elected officials in those positions can do to support young children and families.
I feel our state must make a stronger effort in providing high-quality mental health resources for young children and their families.- Atlanta Mother
Local elected officials, such as mayors, city council members, county commissioners, and school board members, play an important role in building thriving communities that support young children and families.
The timelines for local races vary, so check your sample ballot on My Voter Page to see if any local races in your community are up for election in 2022.
What could local elected officials to expand access to early learning and support the healthy development of Georgia’s youngest children?
- Use the “bully pulpit” to raise awareness and build support for early childhood issues.
- Allocate funds to support early childhood programs and initiatives (e.g., read more about City of Atlanta’s recent investment here).
- Support a comprehensive, well-funded early childhood system that connects health, education, and child welfare.
- Model best practices as an employer and implement family-friendly policies such as flexible time, child care supports, paid leave, etc. Examples include:
- Partner to offer on-site, high-quality and/or subsidized child care for employees.
- Provide flexibility for parents and caregivers to attend children’s well visits.
- Provide gap scholarships for essential service employees and families.
- Communicate and collaborate with constituents and community partners to understand and address the needs of children and families.
- Understand, monitor, and respond to the indicators of child and family well-being in local communities.
As a middle-class family, we do not qualify for any assistance with food, child care, or medical costs. It is very hard to decide if I should continue my career or stay home and care for my kids. Financially, it makes more sense for me to stay home since daycare costs for two children would be more than 90% of my salary.- Dacula Mother