Hope Starts Here (HSH) has 26 policy priorities and we are constantly monitoring the social and political climate to better understand opportunities to pivot among priorities. Hope Starts Here annually develops a policy agenda aligned with statewide policy initiatives to further elevate the urgent need to address inequities in early childhood education. This policy corner will provide brief updates regarding HSH policy efforts.
Continuing to Help Detroit’s Families
HSH continues to work alongside parents/caregivers, educators, community members, policymakers, and business leaders to ensure all children in the city of Detroit thrive. The way we have successfully worked together is described in our policy advocacy plan where we focused on creating awareness, building support, and raising important issues which impact families and providers. HSH has also grounded our work around three levers: access, quality, and affordability (cost). Therefore, we aim to inform or interrogate policy change pushing on those three levers. As such, we intentionally confront the impact of systemic racism and other social barriers limiting access of quality and affordable child care for all Detroit families.
We are committed to supporting families of infant and toddlers in their most critical and developmental years of their lives which is 0 to 8 years old. We have made great progress but there is more for us to do collectively. Our policy advocacy plan cultivated an opportunity for us to: co-create our policy agenda with our Stewardship Board members (relative focus for a particular year), develop a policy checklist and roadmap to track progress, develop policy one-pagers, and coordinate sign-on letters to assist partners in championing the agenda. Additionally, the plan outlined the urgency to meet with Detroit legislators and statewide public legislative decision makers to identify our strongest political champions.
Increasing Long Term Support
We understand how the lack of equity impacts access to high-quality education. The COVID-19 global pandemic and its impact have brought attention to the preexisting systemic failures of our current early childhood education system that is largely unsupported and unstable. Through collective action, early childhood educators across the nation made their voices heard to ensure child care is prioritized. As a result, there has been supplemental relief funding for child care in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic including the CARES Act ($3.5 Billion), Coronavirus Response & Relief Supplemental ($10 Billion), and the American Rescue Act of 2021 ($38.8 Billion; $1.1 Billion for Michigan). There must be long-term investment in early childhood education to stabilize this essential sector. Through HSH policy efforts will continue to elevate how continued investment in high-quality and affordable child care that is accessible is necessary for all young children and their families.
Together we must do more…