Advocacy for Early Childhood Programs & Services

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  • 0:03 Advocacy Programs
  • 0:29 Resilience Advocacy
  • 1:42 Academic Advocacy
  • 2:37 Systems Advocacy
  • 3:34 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Della McGuire

Della has been teaching secondary and adult education for over 20 years. She holds a BS in Sociology, MEd in Reading, and is ABD on the MComm in Storytelling.

In this lesson, we'll discuss how to effectively advocate for services to help families with young children adjust to change and transitions, the development of quality education programs for young children, and the health, living, and working conditions of young children and their families.

Advocacy Programs

Emily is a trained advocate who primarily works with young children. Advocacy programs help children, families, and the community by creating greater stability among individuals, which creates a more stable community. Emily knows that by connecting families with young children with coping skills and resources, they're more likely to thrive. She's a specialist in helping people navigate life and an expert in knowing where to get community support for a range of issues.

Resilience Advocacy

Emily knows being a new parent can be difficult, so part of her work involves helping families with young children adjust to change and transitions. Resilience advocacy involves the teaching of coping skills to parents and children to help them develop the resilience needed to adapt to change with minimal stress. The role of an advocate is to prepare families to adjust to changes, whether they're anticipated or not. When the transition is predictable, like first attending school or daycare outside the home, the advocate can assist with the necessary planning to make the transition smooth.

However, many times, changes are unexpected and cannot be prepared for in advance. These kinds of situations can create anxiety in parents, which is distinctly perceptible to even very young children. Parents can model resilience by practicing coping skills that will help the family adapt to change.

Some of these skills might come from Emily's specialized training in de-escalation, crisis intervention, and even meditation. One of her most basic skills is helping parents and children identify and continue the life-sustaining activities they enjoy doing together and individually. Life-sustaining activities have the ability to redirect mental energy away from disruptions and to create some consistency during unexpected changes.

Academic Advocacy

Emily's advocacy skills also help her work with her school district in the development of quality education programs for young children. Academic advocacy consists of connecting with teachers to understand what students are doing in order to help parents get more involved in their children's education. Emily does this by showing parents how to facilitate a parent participation program to encourage classroom volunteerism.

Academic advocacy also involves creating social connections, so Emily hosts a group called 'First Teachers' where parents come together in a support group, which helps solve the childcare barrier to participation. Here, parents can develop social networks with other parents with the common interest of learning better ways to improve their child's education by taking an active role in teaching them at home. The group also provides opportunities for parents to develop their children's social connections with children of different ages and from diverse backgrounds.

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