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Why I Traveled 2,000 Miles to Advocate for Quality, Affordable Child Care

A typical working mom struggling to find child care, Amy joined Strolling Thunder and took her story to Capitol Hill to encourage Congress to Think Babies.

Taking a Chance

It was the opportunity I didn't even know I'd been waiting for.

I found out about Strolling Thunder when I was working at Head Start. The invitation to share my story and the challenges for families with children under the age of three arrived at a time in my life where I felt frustrated with the current system and limited in options.  

Each year, Strolling Thunder connects families with babies and toddlers from every state and Washington D.C. with their Members of Congress to discuss the policies families need to thrive.

Sharing My Story

The thing is, I thought I had done everything right.

My husband and I waited until we felt financially ready to have a baby. When my firstborn, Oliver, was one year old, I decided to go back to work at a local Head Start. But I was shocked by the cost of child care in American Fork, UT. I also never dreamed it would be so difficult to find an open slot for my son.  

When I did finally find care we could afford, it turned a 20-minute work commute into an hour-long commute twice a day. I was beyond frustrated. We should absolutely be doing better for babies, toddlers and families! Strolling Thunder gave me the opportunity to share my feelings with Members of Congress. I represented the state of Utah at Strolling Thunder in 2022 and had three virtual meetings with policymakers. But my journey wasn’t over! 

UT_ST22_Romney_Dayof_1 (1)
In 2022, Amy and her family met with Senator Romney’s office to tell their story and advocate for quality, affordable child care — with wait lists that aren’t a year long!
Although meetings were virtual due to the ongoing pandemic, the babies still showed up to make a fuss and tell Congress to Think Babies.

Recurring Challenges

Earlier this year, I returned to work once again after having our second baby.

My challenges this time were even deeper. The costs had gone up and waiting lists were months-long.  

This year, as a mother of two small children, I was excited to be selected to represent Utah again – this time in person – and was eager to really drive this point home with my Members of Congress.

Knowing what to expect with Members of Congress, I felt ten times more comfortable advocating and speaking to them about what families like mine need.

Child care is a basic need and families should not have to bend over backwards to find quality, affordable care.

I explained how my biggest goal is for moms like me to feel like they can be both a mother and a professional at the same time. Moms should not have to conform to societal pressures of having to choose one over the other. The workplace NEEDS the compassionate and intelligent minds of mothers, but we cannot do it without the support of government officials who help implement child care affordability and resources for babies.  

Join families like Amy's in advocating for change.

A Lifelong Advocate

Participating in Strolling Thunder has really opened my eyes.

Change can’t occur if the “average Joe” doesn’t speak up. Strolling Thunder and the Think Babies advocacy team helped me see that my opinion matters and I’m not only representing the needs of my family, but of the families of those who live in my community, county, and state.  

You can become an advocate, too.

Sign up to receive policy news and updates about our next Strolling Thunder, including information about how you can represent your state.

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