You represent every state, race, ethnicity and religion. You live and work in every corner of America, caring for children and families who worship in churches, synagogues and mosques, speaking English and Spanish; Arabic and Hebrew; Mandarin and Igbo and Hmong. You have diverse perspectives and beliefs, and every day you help our children fulfill their potential.
NAEYC is built on your commitment to children. We intend to work diligently to move child care and early learning forward with the Administration and Congress. We have and will continue to work with Republicans and Democrats, at all levels of government, to improve access to high-quality, affordable early childhood education that achieves positive outcomes for our children, families and the economic future of our country. In the months ahead, you can expect us to pursue our strategic goals and priorities with new information and resources as we amplify Affiliate and member voices; provide guidance, recommendations and action steps; define and advance a more unified early childhood profession; and transition from Early Ed for President into the soon-to-be-launched campaign, America for Early Ed (stay tuned!).
You can also expect a clear and consistent commitment to our profession’s Code of Ethics, which asserts that we respect the dignity, worth and uniqueness of each individual; respect the diversity in children, families, and colleagues; and recognize that children are best understood and supported in the context of family, culture, community, and society. Early childhood educators understand that inclusivity is a foundation of our field, and we embrace our students’, families’ and colleagues’ diverse characteristics as strengths. These are not simply words on a page. You make these values real to our children and their families each day—and from you, we know that recent executive actions from this Administration are having profound consequences for our profession, the children we serve, and our collective ability to build strong and supportive communities of families.
In this country, there are 5.8 million children under age 5 with at least one immigrant parent. They are in our classrooms and homes. Some of them already live in fear and anxiety that their parents will be taken away from them. As a result of policies included in the recent executive actions, these fears are made worse, and the most essential relationships between these children and the caring adults in their lives are put at risk. The impact, which could deepen children’s stress, disrupt their brain development, and negatively impact their short- and long-term health outcomes, will make the jobs of early childhood educators and parents—who already bear enormous responsibility to promote the development and learning of each child—that much harder.
We believe in working across ideological, linguistic, cultural, religious and geographical differences to move early childhood education forward at the federal, state and local levels. Indeed, it is these very differences that define our field, mark the lives of our youngest children and contribute to the richness of our nation—and they are assets we will continue to celebrate, value and uphold. We encourage you to support and advocate for all the children, families and educators in your community today and every day so that, together, we can continue to work towards ensuring that all children have access to high quality early learning supported by an effective and diverse profession.