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December 2011 U.S. Poverty Laser Talk

Write a Letter to the Editor Urging Congress to Protect Head Start and Child Care

Congress still has yet to finalize FY 2012 funding for Head Start, Early Head Start, and the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Take the December Action by writing a letter to the editor or op-ed to your local paper urging lawmakers to support working families by supporting the highest funding levels for Head Start, Early Head Start, and CCDBG. Here is a sample letter to the editor.

Dear Editor:

The holiday season is a time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for and the importance of taking care of our most vulnerable. We must support policies that help break the cycle of poverty.

As Nobel-prize winning economist James Heckman notes, investing in early childhood programs is a “cost efficient and effective investment in preventing downstream problems in education, health, social and economic productivity.” In addition, parents need access to quality and affordable child care in order to work, and this is critical for creating and sustaining jobs and rebuilding our economy.

Unfortunately, because Congress has yet to finalize the funding for Head Start and child care assistance, tens of thousands of low-income children and their families may have to scramble for safe and affordable child care in 2012.

I urge Senators Black and White and Representative Grey to do the right thing — fund Head Start, Early Head Start, and child care at the highest levels possible in the final 2012 budget.

Sincerely,

Jane Doe, 1234 Elm St, Kansalouis, MO 11111, (555) 555-5555

What Is a Laser Talk?

A laser talk serves as a useful starting point for your advocacy work, whether as a talking points during a town hall meeting or as a primer for face-to-face meetings with candidates and elected officials. Follow up with more information and evidence supporting your points. And of course, adapt a laser talk to reflect your own experiences and why you care about the issue! For more on how to create your own laser talk, see the RESULTS Activist Toolkit: Create and Deliver Your EPIC Laser Talk and see our December 2011 U.S. Poverty Action for more background on these issues.