Making Your Voice Heard: Advocacy in ECE with Ellen Reynolds

Kris first fills us in all about the Child Care Success Summit that just took place last month in Nashville, and what an amazing time that was had by all. She then welcomes Ellen Reynolds, the CEO of the Georgia Child Care Association. Ellen talks about her background in law and love of all things education, and how it got her into lobbying, advocacy, and effecting change at the policy level. She talks about the complexity of how regulated the childcare industry is, and how you can become more involved as an advocate in the world of ECE to impact positive change.

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Here Are the Key Takeaways From This Episode:  

  •  [6:49] What an amazing summit! #bestsummitever. Special thanks to the incredible Lisa Nichols.

  • [10:40] The Georgia Child Care Association represents 3,200 licensed child care providers in Georgia, with members all across the state. Ellen started lobbying on behalf of the association 20 years ago when it was just herself and just five people. In 2017, she took over as the CEO.

  • [12:59] Ellen was also a lawyer. Her role at GCCA represents her family upbringing: her mom was an award-winning educator and her dad was a small business owner.

  • [14:40] Ellen hopes at some point that GCCA can help other states grow their associations.

  • [16:52] Three ways that you can help get your voice heard and be an agent of change: 

    1. Join organizations such as GCCA. They can’t survive, let alone thrive, without those membership dues.
    2. Attend a meeting that the organization has, training opportunities, or join the advocacy network.
    3. Get to know your state elected officials and representatives. Don’t be afraid of them!

  • [19:44] If you haven’t joined already, be sure to hop on and say hi on the new Child Care Champions Facebook Group page. It’s not just advocacy tips, but business success resources.

  • [21:51] Ellen gives her advice on if you have to start a group from scratch or when your state doesn’t have a strong association already.

  • [24:32] At GCCA, they look out for all members.

  • [30:40] Great child care advocates know that you have to work with people on both sides of the aisle, and your main mission is to forward important issues for the growth and health of the childcare industry.

  • [38:56] Child care is one of the highest-regulated industries in the world, and we have a responsibility to make sure that those regulations, policies, and laws are in our best interest whenever we can impact that.

  • [42:41] How people can be best prepared for the future financially, especially with elections on the horizon.


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