February 2011 U.S. Poverty Laser Talk

Tell Congress to Protect Head Start and Child Care Services

Engage: Because of recent investments in early childhood programs over the last two years, thousands of jobs were created when 7000 Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms opened and 200,000 low-income children have received child care services, allowing their parents to work.

Problem: Unfortunately, if Congress does not allocate the funding necessary to maintain these critical services, 300,000 children and their families will lose out.

Inform: Early childhood services like Head Start and child care are not only critical to helping at-risk kids get the foundation they need to succeed in kindergarten and beyond, they also empower parents to foster this growth and development long after their children leave the program. And we as a society benefit through reduced need for special education and remediation, better health outcomes, reduced need for social services, lower criminal justice costs, and increased self-sufficiency and productivity among families. Despite this success, Congress is poised to cut funding for these vital programs, meaning thousands will lose jobs and working families will struggle to stay employed and contribute to their local economies.

Call to Action: It is imperative we stand up for America’s children. Will you speak to your Senate colleagues on the Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee and urge them to allocate the necessary funding for Head Start, Early Head Start and the Child Care Development Block Grant in FY 2011 and 2012 to sustain current service levels?

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 our Child nutrition page.