FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON — On Wednesday, June 21, families from all 50 states and the District of Columbia participated in the Seventh Annual Strolling Thunder™ to push Congress to invest in policies that ensure all babies have the resources and opportunities that support good health, strong families, and positive early learning experiences. After being virtual for the past three years, Strolling Thunder finally made its in-person return – connecting the youngest constituents with their senators and representatives on Capitol Hill.
Strolling Thunder™ is the marquee event of ZERO TO THREE’s Think Babies™, a national initiative and call-to-action for policymakers to prioritize the needs of infants, toddlers, and their families and to invest in our nation’s future. Federal priorities include:
- Increasing access to high-quality, affordable child care;
- Creating a national paid family and medical leave program;
- Increasing investments in Early Head Start so that more families can benefit from the program’s comprehensive services;
- Increasing investments in infant and early childhood mental health services;
- Providing support to transform how communities and the child welfare system support babies and families; and
- Reinstating and making the expansion of the Child Tax Credit permanent to ensure families’ economic security.
A high point of the three-day event filled with legislative meetings and a visit to the White House was the Think Babies™ rally on Capitol Hill, where over 100 families and members of Congress expressed support for policies that help families. “Today, families from across the country came together to tell Congress that babies must be a top priority in our national policy conversation,” said Miriam Calderón, Chief Policy Officer of ZERO TO THREE. “The lawmakers need to consider the babies and their families whose lives are changed by policies like the Child Tax Credit, paid family leave, Head Start, and more. Families are working hard to make sure their infants and toddlers get a healthy, strong start in life, and we need Congress to do its part to make that a reality. It’s time for Congress to ‘think babies’ and put infants and toddlers at the top of their policy agenda.”
Several members of Congress attended to show support for these policies, including Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, Minority Whip Katherine Clark, Representatives Jimmy Gomez and Rashida Tlaib.
If you want to connect for interviews with representatives from ZERO TO THREE or families in attendance, please contact Joe Weedon at (202) 277-9410 or [email protected].
About ZERO TO THREE
ZERO TO THREE works to ensure all babies and toddlers benefit from the family and community connections critical to their well-being and development. Since 1977, the organization has advanced the proven power of nurturing relationships by transforming the science of early childhood into helpful resources, practical tools and responsive policies for millions of parents, professionals, and policymakers. For more information, and to learn how to become a ZERO TO THREE member, please visit zerotothree.org, facebook.com/zerotothree, or follow @zerotothree on Twitter.