CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Advocates for early childhood education and care today announced a legislative lobby day on Feb. 14 at 10:00 a.m. at the West Virginia state Capitol. The event will coincide with Valentine’s Day because advocates say fighting for adequate funding for early childhood education and care is heart work.
“This will be the first child care day ever to be held at the statehouse,” said Kristy Ritz, executive director of the West Virginia Association for Young Children. “We’re doing this to bring attention to the importance of child care and to share with legislators our priority recommendations for children. We want to help bring awareness to the landscape for child care in West Virginia.”
West Virginia is 50th in child care accessibility, and 64% of West Virginians live in a child care desert.
In the lead-up to the Feb. 14 event, advocates will call legislators to request meetings. In addition to meeting with legislators, children will create custom-made Valentine’s Day cards which will be delivered to legislators.
“We want to let parents and providers know that they are not alone; the movement to build child care is massive,” said Amy Hutchison, grassroots leader of the Rattle the Windows movement.
In addition to occurring on Valentine’s Day, the event will be held in conjunction with the American Heart Association.
“This is a matter of the heart. The more we invest in child care, the more we invest in our state as a whole,” said Tiffany Gale, founder and director of Miss Tiffany’s Early Childhood Education House.