With Bipartisan Leadership, Florida Can Give Families a Chance at Prosperity

Imagine your boss calls you into her office with big news: Your hard work is being recognized and you are getting a raise. This should be a moment to celebrate, but you realize the negative impact on your family budget. Fifty cents an hour more at your full-time job will bring about $1,000 more into your bank account that year, but you’ll lose a subsidized health insurance plan for your daughter, and those costs rise from $240 to $3,000.

It’s hard to celebrate when you’re on the edge of a cliff. 


Reimagining the Future of Early Learning in Florida

The Children’s Movement of Florida has just released an actionable roadmap for the future of early learning policy and funding in the third-largest state, stemming from a collaborative process over 18 months called The Future Project. 


The Movement's Next Chapter

After more than a dozen years with The Children’s Movement of Florida, Vance Aloupis will become The Movement’s senior adviser as he transitions to become a partner in the education-consulting firm, the Strategos Group, effective March 1.
Madeleine Thakur, The Movement’s now president, succeeds Aloupis as CEO.


$3 Billion for Early Learning in Florida

The Division of Early Learning recently released a plan to spend significant pandemic relief funds to bolster early learning centers and family child care homes–as well as directly support educators. The Children’s Movement of Florida was pleased to play a role in influencing the spending plan, together with partners in Florida’s Early Learning Consortium. (If you are eligible for funding and have questions, your local early learning coalition will be the best resource for you!) 

For now, here’s what we know:


Speech from David Lawrence Jr. to the Florida Chamber Future of Florida Forum

The Future of Early Learning

The Florida Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual “Future of Florida


Chamber Forum: Investing in parents, children is good business

From Florida Politics: “During the 2022 Future of Florida Forum, Children’s Movement of Florida founder and former Miami Herald publisher Dave Lawrence spoke at length about the educational challenges facing Florida’s children — and he opened with some alarming statistics.”


Want To Be Part of the Solution? Become a UWBB ReadingPal

From Tallahassee Democrat: "One hour of your time each week spent helping a child in pre-K to third grade learn to read can not only put that young boy or girl on equal footing with classmates, but it also helps ensure future academic and career success."


'If we don't open, mom can't go to work' — the pandemic puts a priority on child care

From WLRN:  "Children learn how to communicate and cooperate and all of these socio-emotional skills – they develop that in pre-school. And, so, business who are saying ‘hey, I don’t have the right talent to hire.’ They were looking at their education priorities and starting earlier in the early-learning and pre-school years to say ‘This is where we need to get it right.’"


These four states already have universal preschool. What can Colorado learn from them?

From Chalkbeat Colorado: "When universal preschool originally launched in Florida, the vision was to offer both a 3-hour and a 6-hour preschool day, but there was never enough funding for the longer day, said Madeleine Thakur, president of the advocacy group, The Children’s Movement of Florida."


Life lessons: Make a difference in the world, speak up and, always, keep learning

From Miami Herald: Our founder and chair, David Lawrence Jr., recently received the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce “Sand in My Shoes” Award. This is an excerpt from his speech.


Matthew Love Leads Nicklaus Children's Health System Through COVID

From Miami Today: “To this day, Mr. Love carries the lessons a mentor, Meri Armour, instilled in him, including that taking care of kids is the utmost privilege and priority.”


Publix heiress and children’s advocate Carol Jenkins Barnett dies at 65 of Alzheimer’s

From The Miami Herald: “Carol, the mother of Nicholas and Wesley, understands that nothing is more important to a child’s future success than a caring, knowledgeable, loving and nurturing parent. She exemplifies the best: Caring, good, committed to making a difference. Wants for every child the same high-quality child care that her own children received. Wants every child with special needs to have a real chance to fulfill his or her potential,” Lawrence said in his remarks.

Bosses for Babies

Child Care Benefits Attract and Retain Employees

From Inside Business: “No matter what happens in coming weeks concerning government decisions on parental leave and child care, the responsibility of creating a sustainable workforce remains with employers.”


Future of Florida Forum: Child Care Staffing Crisis Could Cripple Economic Comeback

From Florida Politics: “If the pandemic showed us anything, it shows that early learning is also about the worker.”


Volunteers Keep ReadingPals in the Classroom

From Citrus County Chronicle: “The grant program is measured for success. Reports show that the children who participate in ReadingPals have greater learning gains than those who don’t.”


Keys to Society's Future: Quality Child Care, Improved Reading Skills for Children

From Palm Coast Observer: “By the year 2030, Florida’s goal is to have 100% of kindergartners ready for school and 100% of third graders reading at grade level.”


ELC Needs Volunteer Readers in Clay County

From Clay Today: “Reading to young children sets the groundwork for a child’s future ability to read and learn,” said ELC Early Literacy Coordinator Joan Whitson.


Breastfeeding Women, Children Need Support of Employers, Community

From Tallahassee Democrat: “Promoting breastfeeding is beyond just the responsibility of those in the labor and the delivery room. It requires a communitywide, public health approach.”


Biden’s Pre-K Proposal Faces Questions From Republicans Over Federal Role

From Wall Street Journal: “Vance Aloupis, a Republican state representative in Florida who worked on recent preschool legislation in the state, said that he is happy early childhood education is getting attention. But he said any federal investment should give state leaders flexibility. ‘I don’t think it would be wise to have a one-size-fits-all conversation. There has to be significant flexibility provided to the states.'”