The Movement is focused on making Florida’s children, especially in their early years, a top priority in our state. We work in Tallahassee and in local communities to educate policymakers, connect them with early learning leaders, and spread information about legislative initiatives that impact children.
We meet regularly with Florida senators and representatives–in their offices at the Capitol and in their home districts–to share the importance of the first five years and policies geared at supporting young children and families. We participate in legislative delegation meetings, where legislators in each county hear from the public pressing issues that should be focused on during the upcoming session. We want to make sure high-quality early learning, health care and support for parents is part of the conversation.
In order to advocate efficiently, we build relationships with legislators who sit on committees that deal with early childhood issues.
Here are the committees we are following closely in the 2022-2024 term:
Florida House of Representatives
Working with key committee members and other leaders, we can help ensure our issues are heard by people who can make a difference and drive change at the most important junctions of the legislative process.
During election years, we focus on connecting with candidates across the political spectrum. When freshman legislators understand early childhood development, they can hit the ground running and make decisions on issues that matter.
Early Learning Center Visits
Another way we engage legislators (and candidates!) is by inviting them to visit early learning centers in their districts. We partner with local Early Learning Coalitions to organize tours that allow them to spend time with their youngest constituents, and remind them how young children learn and grow before entering the K-12 system. Governor DeSantis is interested in raising the kindergarten readiness rates in Florida, and this experience should provide important context for issues that will come up in the next legislative session.
Through these visits, legislators strengthen relationships with the Early Learning Coalition and hear ideas on how to improve the quality of and access to early learning opportunities for their constituents. They get to see first-hand the important role preschool teachers play to prepare students for school and life, and gain a better understanding of the way our VPK program serves children.
Often, legislators also enjoy reading and interacting with the children!
Advocacy at the Capitol
During the legislative session in Tallahassee, we maintain a presence in the halls of the Capitol and keep our supporters informed. Whether we are attending committee meetings to show support for legislation, engaging legislators in their offices, or sharing information with the public during Children’s Week, we are present and influencing policy.