Message From the President
Fall is my favorite time of year. The air is crisp with lower humidity and cooler temperatures, we place pumpkins in our doorways, and we celebrate a time of giving thanks as the holiday season approaches. While it is important to reflect on our blessings, we must remember that not all children and families in Florida are so fortunate. How can we ensure that all children have the resources necessary to prepare them for success in school and in life? Children are always the most important work and we must never forget that their future depends on the changes and the work we do today.
Next year’s legislative session begins on January 12, and I invite you to contact your policy makers and legislators now to voice your support for the following early care and education issues:
- Increase funding to $4M for Florida’s Help Me Grow, an integrated local and statewide system that links children and their families to community-based developmental and behavioral services and supports.
- Increase school readiness funding to give children the opportunity to attend quality child care programs while also enabling their parents to work.
- Increase funding for Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) programs that will in turn increase the quality of prekindergarten programs and the number of children who will be ready for school and ready to learn.
- Increase funding for the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program which enables child care professionals to earn credentials and degrees while increasing their compensation, competence and retention in the workforce.
On behalf of the board of directors and our staff, thank you for supporting our work and the belief that investments in our youngest citizens create positive outcomes and a future that is full of limitless possibilities. In the words of Harry Edwards: "We must teach our children to dream with their eyes open."
Phyllis Kalifeh, Ed.D.