It is important that as providers we understand that we are continually advocating for our personal small business and our professional at large with every contact we have with potential clients, members of our communities and the families receiving our serves.
Advocate is one of those words that is both a noun and a verb. It’s the person who publicly supports or recommends a particular cause or policy and the action of a person publicly recommending or supporting a cause or policy. To advocate is simply to support something that is important to you.
The providers who worked to organize the Family Child Care Association of Maine understood the importance advocacy would play in supporting the mission to unify, promote and strengthen quality professional family child care in Maine. This work would intersect across all the work of FCCAM. That is why one of the first active committees was the Public Policy Committee. It is why PPC works in a joint policy committee with MaineAEYC. It is why FCCAM is an endorsing partner for Right from the Start (RFTS). Why FCCAM participates on monthly leadership calls facilitated by NAFCC with leaders from other states. Why FCCAM posts on our website to keep providers informed of changes within our profession.
How do we each advocate for family child care?
We are the ones with the first hand knowledge of what our day is filled with. What services we provide families in caring for their child. What is needed for our businesses to be sustainable while offering quality care.
By being available to answer questions about our profession, about our program’s philosophy, sharing information with families to support their child’s development, connecting families to services within our communities, informing families about our own continuing professional learning, …… we are each advocating for family child care and its importance to families, children and our local communities.
As a statewide association whose mission is to support family child care providers, FCCAM believes it’s important for all providers to lend their voice to any discussion on Bills that impact our small businesses and the care we provide children. This has gotten easier to do with the Maine’s change to a digital submission of testimony.
The Public Policy Committee understands how important it is to be providing our knowledge about our profession to the legislators writing, hearing and adopting Bills. Legislators are very open to hearing our thoughts and respect that we have first-hand knowledge about the issues we were speaking to. Written testimonies provided by FCCAM on legislative action and bills can be accessed under “Bill Testimony“ in the Public Policy section’s drop-down menu. The bills are listed by year.
FCCAM also participates in National and State campaigns with a variety of partners on issues that impact family child care providers, children in care and their families. These letters can be accessed under “Letter / Public Comment” in the Public Policy section’s drop-down menu. Letters are listed by date.
Right From the Start Early Childhood Advocacy Toolkit