Summer is often a time of celebration. School is out; children and families are enjoying the outdoors and making summertime memories. Yesterday, we got to celebrate the 4th of July; a special day where red, white, and blue paint the sky and we honor our country, which was built on the principles freedom and diversity.
The thing I appreciate most about celebration is the sense of togetherness and unification. Celebrations are characterized by those we share the experience with – whether that may be our loved ones, or our colleagues. When we work together, we create outcomes worth celebrating; and when we celebrate together, we can reflect, and establish new goals to chase after.
On June 27, Governor Brown signed a $200 billion budget that marked critical wins for our youngest learners. Child360 contributed to this budget win, as a member of the Early Care and Education Coalition who rallied behind the Legislative Women’s caucus for this year’s big advocacy push: $1 Billion for Babies. While significant gaps in funding for ECE remain, the budget will help more families gain access to child care, and help early educators improve and expand their facilities and access to professional development. The new investments of state and federal dollars in this year’s budget represent important strides toward building an ECE system that provides a great start in life to all of California’s most vulnerable children, beginning at birth. There is more to be done, but we can celebrate the wins thus far.
Last month, we came together with two of our Best Start Communities, to host two successful community fairs for local residents to engage with elected officials and explore a variety of local resources, including mobile health vans, entertainment for children, and mental health resources. May 19 marked the first ever Spring Fest for the South East Los Angeles Community, hosting nearly 500 residents in that community. June 9 marked a similar event for the North East Valley, marking its 3rd annual Summer Fest with nearly 1000 residents in attendance. The fairs were a time of celebration and unification, and it was a joy to see the residents of South East LA and North East Valley make connections in their local communities.
So, for the remainder of July, as we reflect on the wonderful community fairs behind us, and the investments promised by our Governor in front of us, we want to wish you a wonderful summer of celebration and enjoyment with your loved ones. May your celebrations be full, and serve as fuel for the better tomorrow we will pave together.
Bill Sperling, Acting CEO