Over the last two weeks, the Democratic and Republican parties hosted their national conventions to share their platforms, introduce their tickets, and rally their bases. To coincide with each convention, Every Child Matters and ZERO TO THREE hosted virtual panel discussions on the opportunities and importance of investing in children and families in the 2020 presidential election. FFYF executive director Sarah Rittling participated in both events to offer insight on the current state of early learning and care, and to highlight the long-term bipartisan support. 

The purpose of these panels was to focus on the critical need for federal investments in children’s health, child care, early education, paid family leave, and ending childhood poverty. In addition to the experts from organizations like Family Values @ Work, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), Children’s Defense Fund (CDF), and First Focus on Children, the panels also included leading Democratic and Republican Party office-holders, candidates and other officials so they had the opportunity to layout their plans to support and invest in our kids and families. 

“Child care is foundational. It is essential —whether it’s the high-quality experience that sets a child on the path to success or the very basis on which any economic recovery must rest.”

-Sarah Rittling

The panelists who participated in these discussions included Myra Jones-Taylor from ZERO TO THREE, Shawnnita Buckner, Mom of a Strolling Thunder family, Sade Moonsammy from Family Values @ Work, Jerry Sandoval of Parent Voices California, Kimberley Chin and Emily Gardner of the CDF, Freshawn Collins and Kylie Maria Gil, youth activists with the CDF, Lucy Recio of NAEYC, Tracy Weston, an early childhood educator, Bruce Lesley of First Focus on Children, Jill Applegate of Every Child Matters, and Sarah Rittling from FFYF. Senator Tina Smith (MN), Representative Karen Bass (CA), Senator Joni Ernst (IA), and Representative Tom Reed (R-NY) also participated in the conversation. 

You can watch each panel in full using the links below.